St Petroc

Bodmin St Petroc Chancel Screen Restored Panels
Restored Panels for the Chancel Screen at St Petroc in Bodmin

Chancel Screen Restoration – Photographs (PWDRO 116/47 & 244/1) R.F. Wheatly architect; after 1928

This wonderful restoration recreates the chancel screen across the south aisle, enclosing the Lady Chapel. Panels from the original screen were used for the base and almost the entirety of the rest of the screen was added. The photographs in both PWDRO 116/47 and 244/1 show the ‘old panels’ restored and ready for use, as well as the completed screen in situ. The coving is, unusually, carved on both sides, though the work is slightly less ornate on the east face. An inscription across the transom states that the screen is a memorial to Felix Elford Coom (died 1899) and his wife Elizabeth (died 1895) and was given by their daughter Augusta St Aubyn Thomas (died 1928). It was intended that the new chancel screen would extend across the whole width of the church, hence an abrupt end to the coving on the north side (G. Minors, Rector, pers. comm.). A screen without vaulting was made for the north aisle (probably not by V. Pinwill) but the central portion was never commissioned.

Clergy Stalls and Desks (2), Sedilia, Main Reredos and Chapel Reredos – Letter (CRO P13/2/69)

A letter dated 1 July 1931 from the architect Sir Charles A. Nicholson to Mr Young at Bodmin church submits two estimates for the above work. One is from Bowman & Son for £572 and the other from Miss Pinwill for £628 15s. Nicholson, a former pupil of John Dando Sedding, states that he thinks ‘there is nothing to choose between the workmanship of the two, both are first rate’. Given that information, Mr Young would probably be inclined to chose Bowman & Son to do the work. A visit to St Petroc in November 2013 confirmed that it is unlikely that V. Pinwill created these pieces. As with the chancel screen above, they were made utilising ‘old panels’ either from former screens or from bench ends to designs by Nicholson, which are kept in the Rectory, and constructed in 1932 (Beacham & Pevsner, 2014).

South Chapel Altar Cornice – Plan (CRO P13/2/73)

A plan prepared by Violet Pinwill shows a strip of carving for a cornice over the south chapel altar. This work, if it was ever carried out, is no longer evident, as a visit in November 2013 confirmed.


Beacham, P. & Pevsner, N. (2014) The Buildings of England. Cornwall. Yale University Press, London.

CRO P13/2/69 Letter. Bodmin. From Charles Nicholson, Architect, re Church Furnishings.

CRO P13/2/73 Plan. Bodmin. From V. Pinwill re Altar Cornice for South Chapel.

PWDRO 116/47 Photographs. Bodmin. Chancel Screen and Panels.

PWDRO 244/1 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.