Saturday, 19 December 2009

Walter Tapper

An enthusiast for the architect Sir Walter Tapper has just put up a new website about the churches Tapper built. John Whitworth’s interest began with his home church of St Erkenwald, Southend (now demolished) but has since spread. He came to see St Michael’s, Little Coates a little while ago to take some pictures which now appear on the website. We were able to share with him then Tapper’s original ground plan and a photograph of how the church looked when newly opened in 1915 both of which now also appear at

Once I’d remembered to click on the + signs to open up wider options, I’ve enjoyed spotting cousin relationships, the most striking of which are between St Michael’s and The Ascension, Malvern Link where the family resemblance includes the nature of the chancel vault and the shape of the east window as well as details such as the light fittings, chairs and pulpit. When he is able to put up pictures of St Mark’s, Whiteley people will be even more struck by how similar the tower there is to the one at St Michael’s.

But the picture above doesn’t come from his website. I’ve just pulled out the small collection of papers in the church safe to check some details for him and noticed again this memorable slip of paper from about 1912. Clearly some recent burials had taken place on the ground north of the old village church where the new Tapper church was to be built. The slip records the permission given by the relevant next of kin for four of these burials to be moved. The first signs with a mark. The last says:

I agree to my baby being removed but would very much like it buried in the same grave as my other one. C Nicholls.

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