All Saints

The church of All Saints was built 1887-90 to the designs of John Dando Sedding, uncle of Edmund H. Sedding. Fittings designed by him include the oak choir stalls, carved by Trask & Co. and the Devon marble font. As was often the case, the nephew was called upon to take over after his uncle died. In 1895, Edmund H. Sedding was the obvious choice to design the magnificent alabaster and marble pulpit executed by J. & E. Goad of the Plymouth Phoenix Steam Marble Works (Royal Cornwall Gazette, 1895). In 1908 he also designed the elaborate reredos for All Saints. This was one of the instances where the Pinwill workshop did not carry out the work and Harry Hems of Exeter was chosen instead (CRO P257/2/53-58) but there are many fine examples of Pinwill woodcarving at All Saints.

Organ Case – Photograph (PWDRO 244/5) Plan (CRO X272/23/2) E.H. Sedding architect; 1894

A plan of the organ case at CRO is dated 1893 and illustrates the north side, facing into the chancel, and the west elevation, although the design is slightly different from what was produced. The elaborate case encloses an organ by Hele & Co. of Plymouth, built in 1894, said at the time to be second only to the one in Truro Cathedral (Royal Cornwall Gazette, 1894). A service of dedication took place for the new organ, with its case of oak ‘enhanced by fine carving, adding much to the beauty of the chancel’ (Ibid. p. 8).

Lady Chapel Cross, Candlesticks and Altar Canopy – Photographs (PWDRO 116/49 & 244/2) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1926

There are two photographs in PWDRO that show the cross and candlesticks before despatch and one of these depicts the cross on an elaborate stand beneath the canopy. A third photograph is of these items in the Lady Chapel. A plan at CRO for the cross and candlesticks, in dark oak and silver, is dated 1926 (X272/23/1). The Church History (Wallace, undated) confirms that work on the new chapel took place in the early part of 1926 and was to designs by Wheatly.

Roundel of Madonna and Child – Church History (Wallace, undated) R.F. Wheatly architect; date unknown

This roundel sits above the cornice of the Lady Chapel altar canopy and, according to the Church History (Wallace, undated), was carved by Miss Pinwill of Plymouth and coloured by Mr Snell of Stonehouse. It is said to be a copy of a Della Robbia plaque, although it is more similar to a painting by Guercino used elsewhere by V. Pinwill as the basis for Madonna and child. Unfortunately, this roundel has been repainted by a previous incumbent and a local coastal scene added in the background.

Figure of Madonna and Child – Photograph (PWDRO 244/2) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1927

This fine carving of Madonna and child, standing on a plinth and with an ornate canopy over, is situated in the Lady Chapel. A faculty petition for the statue was submitted in October 1926 and it includes the comment ‘likelihood of superstitious reverence – none whatever’ (CRO D/R 4/17), but it was not placed in the chapel until 1927 (Wallace, undated). The almost life-size statue is carved in chestnut and given by Colonel Wilkie in memory of his wife. It too appears to be based on the painting by Guercino and has had the white of the lily flower and the Madonna’s headdress retouched by a previous incumbent.

Figure of St George – Photograph (PWDRO 116/49); after 1946

A figure of St George in Roman attire, coloured and gilded, stands against one of the nave pillars as a memorial to Eunice Pauline Read, a greatly loved Akela, who died in December 1946.

Altar – Church History (Wallace, undated); 1947

The altar for the Lady Chapel was a late addition, being a Christmas gift for 1947. It incorporates the original marble slab and surrounds it with gilded carvings of the birds and vines motif, with a chalice in the centre. The work is attributed to Miss Pinwill in the Church History (Wallace, undated), though there are no photographs of this piece in PWDRO.


CRO D/R 4/17 Faculty Petition. Falmouth. Statue of Madonna and Child.

CRO P257/2/53-58 Correspodence. Falmouth All Saints. From Harry Hems re Reredos Account.

CRO X272/23/1 Plan. Falmouth All Saints. Altar Cross and Candlesticks.

CRO X272/23/2 Plan. Falmouth All Saints. Organ Chamber.

PWDRO 116/49 Photographs. Falmouth All Saints. Altar, Reredos and Figure of St George. Falmouth King Charles. Font Cover.

PWDRO 244/2 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

PWDRO 244/5 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

Royal Cornwall Gazette (1894) New Organ at All Saints’, Falmouth. Opening Services. 23 August p. 8.

Royal Cornwall Gazette (1895) Pulpit Dedicated at Falmouth. 7 November p. 6.

Wallace M. L. (undated) The Story of the Parish of All Saints Falmouth 1924-1949. All Saints Falmouth.

Falmouth All Saints Madonna and Child
Figure of Madonna and Child at All Saints in Falmouth
Falmouth All Saints St George
Figure of St George at All Saints in Falmouth