Perranuthnoe Reredos St Michael
Figure of St Michael on the Reredos at Perranuthnoe

St Piran & St Michael

In Beacham & Pevsner (2014 p. 439) the chancel furnishings listed below are described as the ‘best feature of the interior’, although that is after the church was ‘much restored and rebuilt’ by J.P. St Aubyn.

Reredos and Panelling – Photograph (PWDRO 116/65 & 244/1) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1926

There is a striking resemblance between this reredos and the one created for St Erney three years later. The differences are mostly in the beading designs and in the fact that the five niches at St Erney have never been used for their intended purpose – to house statues. At Perranuthnoe, the central niche contains a statue of Christ, while the other four house figures of St Michael, St Mary the Virgin, St John the Evangelist and St Piran. According to a newspaper report (Cornishman, 1926), the reredos and the panelling either side was presented to the church in memory of Charles Aldington by his wife.

Organ Screen – Newspaper article (Cornishman, 1928) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1928

The dedication service of a new five bay organ screen at Perranuthnoe, again presented in memory of Charles Aldington (died 1922) was reported in the newspaper. A faculty petition dated July 1929 is for the organ screen, choir stalls and chancel screen to be erected ‘in accordance with amended plans’ (CRO D/R 7/44).

Clergy Stalls and Choir Stalls – Photograph (PWDRO 244/2) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1930

The clergy and choir stalls bear two characteristic features of Pinwill woodcarving. The borders along the back of the stalls consist of fish and seahorses swimming between trailing seaweed, while the ends are surmounted by semi-kneeling angels. The stalls are a further gift in memory of Charles Aldington, a former General Manager of the Great Western Railway (Cornishman, 1930).

Chancel Screen – Photograph (PWDRO 244/2) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1930

The screen and choir stalls were installed at the same time and are structurally integral. The newspaper report of their dedication describes the work as being ‘of outstanding merit’ and the ten bay screen as ‘magnificently carved and constructed’ and ‘the most notable addition to the old churches of West Cornwall for a considerable time’ (Cornishman, 1930 p. 5). The screen is again dedicated to Charles Aldington, with his initials and those of his wife forming part of the design.

Roof Bosses (Restoration) – Newspaper article (Cornishman, 1930); 1930

The newspaper report on the dedication of the chancel screen and choir stalls above also mentions, almost in passing, that the ‘ancient bosses in the chancel roof have all been restored, coloured and gilded’ and then goes on to say that the ‘whole work… was carved and erected by Miss Pinwill, Plymouth’ (Cornishman, 1930 p. 5), which implies that the roof bosses were part of her remit.

Altar – Photograph (PWDRO 116/65) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1935

Altar Rails – Faculty Petition (CRO D/R 13/32); Faculty Plans (CRO D/R 118); 1935

While a photograph of the altar exists in PWDRO (116/65), there is none of the altar rails, even though the faculty petition and plans, dated 1935, are for both items.

Font Cover – Photograph (PWDRO 116/117); 1952

The guide (Perranuthnoe, undated) states that the font cover was presented to the church by Miss C.C. Astley in 1952 and that date and the initials CCA are inscribed on one of the panels. In an unannotated photograph in PWDRO 116/117 of various unknown items, there are what appear to be pieces of this font cover. Another item in the photograph is dated 1951, which ties in with the date given by the church for the font cover. It is very similar in design to the one at Menheniot, despite being four-, as opposed to eight-sided. It has similar cherub faces, Renaissance ‘dolphins’ and cresting around the base and is surmounted by a typical Pinwill dove.


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

Cornishman (1926) Perranuthnoe. 12 May p. 5.

Cornishman (1928) The Late Mr. Chas. Adlington. Memorial Screen Dedicated at Perran Church. 30 August p. 3.

Cornishman (1930) Dedication Service at Perranuthnoe. Memorial Choir Stalls and Chancel Screen. 19 June p. 5.

CRO D/R 7/44 Faculty Petition. Perranuthnoe. Organ Screen, Choir Stalls and Chancel Screen.

CRO D/R 13/32 Faculty Petition. Perranuthnoe. Altar and Altar Rails.

CRO D/R 118 Faculty Plans. Perranuthnoe. Altar and Altar Rails.

Perranuthnoe (undated) The Parish Church of St. Piran and St. Michael Perrenuthnoe.

PWDRO 116/65 Photograph. Perraruthnoe. Altar, Reredos and Panelling.

PWDRO 116/117 Photographs. Various. Small Items of Church Furnishings.

PWDRO 244/1 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

PWDRO 244/2 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.