St Peter

This ‘gaunt, severe Gothic’ church was designed by William White and built ‘in bleak country on a hilltop site’ two miles from the village in the mid nineteenth century (Beacham & Pevsner, 2014 p. 358). The spire and tower were removed in 1898, the latter rebuilt by Cowell, Drewitt & Wheatly in 1928, a few years after the work below. Mithian Church was declared redundant in 2009 ( and when visited in 2016 was in the process of being converted to residential accommodation.

Rood – Plans (CRO X272/54/1-4); Newspaper article (West Briton, 1949) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1924

Four plans for a screen and rood, including a full-size tracing of the rood baluster, are deposited at CRO. The screen diverges from the usual Gothic Revival and owes more to the plainer Jacobean style. The rood figures are identical to those carved by Violet Pinwill for Truro Diocesan Training College chapel a few years earlier, and she is confirmed as the carver in a newspaper retrospective on Mithian church (West Briton, 1949). However, this source also states that the screen itself ‘was built by a member of the congregation, Mr Charles Osborne, from old timbers selected by himself in the shipyards’, which may account for the lack of ornamentation. The screen and rood were erected in memory of the Revd Benjamin Smart, vicar of St Peter’s for 30 years, with the cost of the screen being defrayed by public subscription and the rood, in English oak, the gift of the family (Western Morning News, 1924). They were dedicated in October 1924 by the Chancellor of Truro Cathedral.


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

CRO X272/54/1-4 Plans. Mithian. Rood and Screen.

West Briton (1949) Some Chapters in the History of Truro. Mithian Church. 4 April p. 4.

Western Morning News (1924) Memorial to Late Vicar of Mithian. 21 October p. 5.