Basic Biographical Details

Name: Walter Ramsay Davidson
Designation: Architect
Born: 23 March 1870
Died: 22 December 1945
Bio Notes: Walter Ramsay Davidson was born on 23 March 1870, the second son of Alexander Davidson of Dess (previously Desswood), Aberdeenshire and his wife Sarah Douglas. His health was delicate and he was educated by a tutor, thereafter proceeding to Pembroke College (RIBA obituary says Caius College), Cambridge. From there he became a pupil in the office of Niven & Wigglesworth, London, followed by several years in Edwin Landseer Lutyens's office. He then set up practice in 1900, initially at 28 Victoria Street and then from c.1907 (or possibly earlier) sharing an office at 8 New Square, Lincoln's Inn, with Vincent Harris.

Davidson's practice was almost entirely domestic and mainly in Nairn. Of his work Henry Hardy Wigglesworth wrote that 'he steered clear of the commonplace without any apparent effort'. Davidson never sought election to the RIBA but was an honorary FRIAS and exhibited at the Royal Academy and - in 1913 only - at the Royal Scottish Academy. His practice consisted almost entirely of fairly large houses of considerable refinement.

During the Great War he served with ambulance sections in France. Thereafter he continued to practise and in 1923 was associated with Henry S Tawse, although this may have been a loose arrangement as Tawse entered into partnership with _____ Allan in Aberdeen sometime between 1921 and 1925 and remained in partnership with him thereafter.

On the death of his elder brother in 1928 Davidson inherited Dess and retired from practice. He died unmarried on 23 December 1945.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 328, Victoria Street, London, EnglandBusiness1900  
Item 2 of 38, New Square, Lincoln's Inn, London, EnglandBusiness1907 Possibly earlier
Item 3 of 3Dess House, Aberdeenshire, ScotlandPrivate1928  

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Niven & Wigglesworth1893(?)c. 1897(?)Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Edwin Landseer Lutyensc. 1897(?)1900Assistant 
Item 3 of 3Davidson & Tawse1923 * Partner(?)More probably a loose association than a formal partnership

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1John Holden Peacockc. 1900Before 1903Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 131900Linkside House and CottageNairn NairnshireScotlandPreliminary scheme
Item 2 of 13c. 1900Dess House  AberdeenshireScotlandNew loggia
Item 3 of 131903BroomholmNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 4 of 131905Linkside House and CottageNairn NairnshireScotlandNew scheme or addition?
Item 5 of 131907Achareidh HouseNairn NairnshireScotlandLarge north additions
Item 6 of 131907TarlandNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 7 of 131909Dess House  AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 8 of 131910CluniemorePitlochry PerthshireScotlandRe-roofing, reconstruction and extension of large late Georgian/early Victorian cottage house
Item 9 of 131913FoldsdownThursley, Godalming SurreyEnglandDesign exhibited
Item 10 of 131913Unspecified House in North of Scotland   Scotland 
Item 11 of 131918Linkside House and CottageNairn NairnshireScotlandCottage added in grounds
Item 12 of 131923Ordiquhill Parish Churchyard and burial enclosureOrdiquhill AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 13 of 131931Kincardine O'Neil ChurchKincardine O'Neil AberdeenshireScotlandRestoration


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Burke, ____ (Mosley, Charles, ed) Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage: Clan Chiefs, Scottish Feudal Barons107th EditionWilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage & Gentry LLC 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA JournalFebruary 1946 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp144