St Winwaloe

Poundstock church is fortunate to have retained a Gildhouse (or Church House), ‘meticulously’ repaired and restored in 1919 by Edmund H. Sedding and restored again between 2005-09 (Beacham & Pevsner, 2014 p. 460). It continues to fulfil the function of centuries by being a community resource. A major restoration of the church was carried out between 1896 and 1905 from plans drawn up by George H. Fellowes Prynne. Most of the woodcarving during this period was carried out by John Northcott of Ashwater (Edwards, 2000), while the work by V. Pinwill appears to predate slightly the restoration of the Gildhouse by Sedding.

Statue of Madonna and Child – Photograph (PWDRO 244/5); 1915

This stone statue has been placed in a pre-Reformation niche in the window adjoining the Lady Chapel screen. It bears an inscription stating that it is in memory of Isabella Swinnerton who died in April 1915.

Tower Screen – Photograph (PWDRO 244/5); after 1916

This three-bay tower screen with carved cornice bears a memorial inscription to William Marks of Poundstock and Mary Marks of New Mills, both of whom died in 1916.

Poundstock Lady Chapel Screen
Detail of Lady Chapel Screen at Poundstock

Chapel Screen – Photographs (PWDRO 116/66, 244/4 & 244/5) E.H. Sedding and B. Stallybrass architects; 1917

There are three photographs related to this screen at PWDRO. Of particular interest is one in 244/5, on which has been added ‘carving all by self V. Pinwill’. Many of Violet’s employees were away at the Front at this time, probably leaving her short-handed for this quite large piece of work. She rose to the occasion and showed she was still an expert carver, capable of producing stunning work. In one of only two interviews, Violet was asked how long the screen took to make and she replied ‘About ten weeks, but I was working on other carvings at the same time’ (Western Weekly News, 1934 p. 4). The guide (Edwards, 2000 p. 21) describes the screen as the ‘finest modern woodwork’ in the church. A boss on the right-hand side of the screen bears the date May 1917, although it was not attached in the photographs, which were taken prior to dispatch.


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

Edwards, J.G. (2000) The Story of Poundstock Church & Parish.

PWDRO 116/66 Photograph. Poundstock. Chapel Screen.

PWDRO 244/4 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

PWDRO 244/5 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

Western Weekly News (1934) Westcountry Women’s Careers. No. 4. A Plymouth Woodcarver. 22 September pp. 4 & 21.