Sir Horace Jones was born 20th May 1819 at 15 Size Lane, Bucklersbury, London.
The son of a prosperous solicitor, he studied architecture and spent some years in Italy and Greece to further his classical knowledge. In 1843 he commenced practice as an architect at 16 Furnival’s Inn, Holborn, and during 18 years designed and carried out many buildings of importance, such as the British and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company’s office in Threadneedle Street, the Sovereign Assurance office in Piccadilly, Marshall & Snelgrove’s premises in Oxford Street, the Surrey Music Hall, Cardiff town-hall, and Caversham Hall.
He was surveyor for the Duke of Buckingham’s Tufnell Park estate, for the Barnard estate, and the Bethnal Green estate.
On 26 February 1864 he was elected architect and surveyor to the City of London. The City bridges came under his control and he prepared a scheme for widening London Bridge but this did not obtain Government approval.
He completed the City Lunatic Asylum at Dartford in 1864, and in the same year designed a new roof for the city Guildhall. In 1868 he designed and carried out the Central Meat Market, Smithfield, followed in 1875 by the adjoining poultry and provision market, and in 1883 by the fruit and vegetable market. In 1871 he converted the Deptford dockyard into a foreign cattle market, in 1877 he entirely reconstructed Billingsgate Market, and in 1882 rebuilt Leadenhall Market. In 1872 he designed the Guildhall library and museum, and the new council chamber in 1884.
He prepared the memorial surmounted by a griffin to mark the site of Temple Bar (November 1880).
From 1882 to 84 he was president of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Whilst preparing his report of 1876, on the need for another road crossing, he became convinced that the best solution would be a suspension bridge, supported from two piers, with a central opening section 200 feet wide for the larger ships.
In collaboration with (Sir) John Wolfe-Barry he produced the design for Tower Bridge. Within a month of the construction work starting Sir Horace Jones died, one day after his 68th birthday.
His last important work was the Guildhall School of Music on the Thames Embankment.
He died at 30 Devonshire Place, Portland Place, London, and was buried in West Norwood Cemetery on 27 May 1887.