Thomas Barton was employed by Edmund Nye's workshop in Tunbridge Wells in 1836. His abilities were quickly recognised and he soon became a foreman and designer, working on important projects to be exhibited at The Great Exhibition in 1851. On Nye's death in 1863 Barton took over the business at The Chalet on Mt. Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, where he stayed until the end of the century. Barton died in 1903.
Barton was exceptionally skilled and received royal patronage. The designs he created whilst with Nye and in his own right are some of the most distinctive and easily recognisabe. Much of his work was labelled.
Like Edmund Nye, Barton used Berlin woolwork designs, with large floral panels and intricate borders. In contrast to the floral designs he also favoured perspective cube work and Van Dykes, which had been popular in the 1840's.
Ebony and coromandel were used frequently by Barton and he used 'green oak' (timber attacked by the fungus chlorosplenium aeruginosum), in larger quantities than any other maker.
Whilst probably responsible for the designs of some of the topographical subjects produced by Edmund Nye, Barton only made a view of Eridge and the perspective view of Battle Abbey Gatehouse in his own right.