Photo by Adrian Powter, 2018
186 Gwydir Street, Gothic Terrace, David Parr House
The David Parr House
184 & 186 Gwydir Street
In 1886, 186 Gwydir Street was bought by David Parr, a working-class Victorian decorative artist who worked for the Cambridge firm of artworkmen, F R Leach & Sons. David Parr learnt his many skills there, painting houses and churches with designs created by some of the best architects and designers in the country, including George Frederick Bodley, William Morris and Charles Eamer Kempe.
Over 40 years, David Parr decorated his own terraced home in the style of the grand interiors he worked on every day. His house became a pattern book of the work of late 19th century masters, including William Morris, perfectly crafted and painted with care. In 1912, David Parr inscribed ‘If you do anything, do it well’ in his house, and his patterned, hand-painted walls are a testament to that maxim and to the values of the Arts & Crafts movement in general.
You can discover more about the David Parr House and book tours on their website.
Charles H Hinkens, 30, carpenter, b Melbourn
Julia, 29, b Girton
Arthur, 18, brother, photographer, b Melbourn
Henry Richardson, 19, brother, baker, b Madingley
House bought by David Parr who worked for F R Leach and Sons
David D Parr, 37, painter, b Chesterton
Mary J, 30, b Cheshire
Mary E, 6, b Cambridge
David Douglas, 4, b Cheshire
Sarah E, 1, b Cambridge
David Parr, 57, house painter, b Chesterton
David Douglas, house painter
Sarah Helen, 21, typist drapers
David Parr, painter
Mary J Parr, b 1860
Elsie M Mansfield, b 1915, drapers shop assistant
A full building report on the David Parr House compiled by Sheila Cane for the Mill Road History Society is now available: