St Mary

The church of St Mary in East Looe was closed as a place of worship in 1982 (John Trethewey, warden, St Martin-by-Looe, pers. comm.) and ‘inelegantly’ converted to residential use (Beacham & Pevsner, 2014 p. 319). The present location of the furnishings listed below is unknown.

Chancel Screen – Faculty Petition (CRO D/R 5/21); 1928

Choir Vestry Screen – Photograph (PWDRO 244/2) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1928

Organ Screen – Photograph (PWDRO 244/2) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1928

Three screens were made for this church in 1928, although only the two surrounding the chor vestry and organ are shown in photographs at PWDRO. A faculty petition was submitted in 1927 for the erection of ‘an Oak Screen across the Chancel, a Wood Screen across the Choir Vestry and a wooden partition Screen between Choir and Choir Vestry (CRO D/R 5/21). Three screens (one confusingly referred to as an organ screen) were then installed and dedicated in August 1928 by the Bishop of Truro (Western Morning News, 1928). A photograph labelled organ screen in PWDRO shows a single cornice border featuring seaweed, fish and crabs and below it five bays of leaded glass panels and this same photograph appeared in the newspaper report of the dedication. With the faculty petition is a design for all three screens and separate plans for two of the screens also exist (CRO X272/45/6-10). Two of the screens appear in a photograph held by Historic England from 1983.

Reredos – Photograph (PWDRO 116/60) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1934

A newspaper report describes this carved and coloured reredos in detail (Western Morning News, 1934). It has two niches containing figures of St Nicholas and St Mary and five panels, over which are canopies, cornice moulding and cresting. The article stated that it was a further addition to so much fine woodcarving erected in the church in recent years and that it was carried out by Miss Pinwill of Plymouth. An image of the reredos appears in a photograph held by Historic England from 1983.

Credence Table, Cross and Candlestick (4) – Faculty Petition (CRO D/R 90/1-4) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1935

These items for the sanctuary were added in 1935, designed by R.F. Wheatly and therefore almost certainly carved by the V. Pinwill company. Only the plans, rather than any of the paperwork, remain from the Faculty but the items match images in a photograph of the interior of St Mary’s held by Historic England from 1983. The photograph also shows two floor-standing candlesticks and altar rails that appear to be designed by Wheatly and made by V. Pinwill, but there is no documentary evidence to substantiate this.


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

CRO D/R 5/21 Faculty Petition. Looe St Mary. Chancel Screen, Choir Vestry Screen and Screen between Choir and Choir Vestry.

CRO D/R 90/1-4 Faculty Plans. East Looe. Credence Table, Cross and Candlesticks.

CRO X272/45/6-10 Plans. Looe St Mary. Organ Screen and Chancel Screen

PWDRO 116/60 Photographs. Looe St Mary. Reredos. Looe St Nicholas. Panelling and bench ends.

PWDRO 244/2 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

Western Morning News (1928) Beautifying Looe Church. 11 August p. 10.

Western Morning News (1934) Reredos to Adorn East Looe Church. 28 August p. 3.