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Mr Walter Tapper

Sir Walter Tapper (1861–1935) was a distinguished English architect renowned for his significant contributions to ecclesiastical and public architecture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His architectural designs, characterized by their innovative use of materials and intricate detailing, have left an indelible mark on the built landscape of England.

Early Life and Education

Walter Tapper was born in Bath, Somerset, England, in 1861. He displayed an early aptitude for drawing and design, which led him to pursue a career in architecture. Tapper received his formal education in architecture at the Royal Academy Schools in London, where he honed his skills and developed a deep appreciation for classical and Gothic architectural styles.

Career Beginnings

Tapper's career took off when he joined the prestigious architectural firm of Bodley and Garner as an assistant. Working under the guidance of acclaimed architects George Frederick Bodley and Thomas Garner, Tapper gained invaluable experience and refined his architectural vision. During his time with Bodley and Garner, Tapper contributed to several notable projects, including the restoration of numerous medieval churches and the design of new ecclesiastical buildings.

Notable Works

Tapper's talent and expertise soon garnered widespread recognition, leading to numerous commissions for ecclesiastical and public buildings across England. Among his most renowned works is the design of the Chapel of St. John's College, Oxford, a masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture characterized by its soaring vaults, intricate tracery, and exquisite stone carvings.

Another significant project in Tapper's illustrious career is the restoration of the medieval Canterbury Cathedral, one of the most important religious sites in England. Tapper's sensitive approach to the restoration, combined with his meticulous attention to detail, ensured that the cathedral's historic fabric was preserved for future generations to admire.

In addition to his work on ecclesiastical buildings, Tapper also made significant contributions to public architecture. He designed several municipal buildings, including town halls and libraries, which combined functionality with architectural elegance.


Sir Walter Tapper's architectural legacy continues to inspire architects and enthusiasts alike. His meticulous attention to detail, innovative use of materials, and profound understanding of architectural history have earned him a place among the most influential architects of his time.

Tapper's work is celebrated for its timeless beauty and enduring quality, reflecting his commitment to excellence and his passion for architectural craftsmanship. His buildings stand as a testament to his enduring legacy, serving as cherished landmarks that enrich the cultural heritage of England.


  1. Curl, James Stevens. "A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture." Oxford University Press, 2006.
  2. "Tapper, Sir Walter." In "A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840," edited by Howard Colvin. Yale University Press, 2008.
  3. "Sir Walter Tapper (1861-1935)." The Twentieth Century Society.

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