St Nicholas & St Faith

Saltash Screen
Chapel Screen at St Nicholas & St Faith in Saltash

In 1897, the church of St Nicholas and St Faith commissioned new Parish Buildings from Edmund H. Sedding (West Briton, 1897). The old school to the south east of the church was incorporated into the design. The building is still used as the Church Hall, although the upper storey on the west side is now unfit for access. Construction of the roof of the main room used the first RSJs to be utilised in Cornwall.

Chapel Screens – Photograph (PWDRO 116/85) A.S. Parker architect; 1932

The photograph in PWDRO is taken in the workshop before dispatch, with the two screens in line, giving the impression that they may form a chancel screen. Installed, they are in fact at right angles to each other and form two sides of St Faith’s Chapel. The vine pattern cornice is gilded and the tracery and cresting are painted and gilded. The fabric of the church was restored by A. Southcombe Parker in 1930 (CRO D/R 8/44) and in August 1932 a faculty petition was submitted for the refurbishment of the chancel (CRO D/R 10/44). This included screens for St Faith’s Chapel for which ‘incumbent has been given some portions of a fourteenth-century parclose screen, which will fit very well into the positions suggested’. The plan for the screens by A.S. Parker states ‘the tracery heads are part of an ancient screen of varying widths’. It is indeed the case that each bay of the screens is a different width so that the ancient work could be incorporated. Closer inspection reveals that all the upper sections of the tracery are less crisp than the rest of the screen. They show signs of wear and, in places, are slightly damaged through centuries of use; some areas even have evidence of past woodworm infestation. One of the diamond-shaped vegetative ornaments that grace the corners of each tracery head has been replaced turned through 90° from its original position. They are all cut off at the same point, as if they were deliberately removed for safe-keeping. The discovery that the screens incorporated parts of ancient tracery was shared with members of the PCC and the information was very much appreciated.


CRO D/R 8/44 Faculty Petition. Saltash St Nicholas & St Faith. Restoration.

CRO D/R 10/44 Faculty Petition. Saltash St Nicholas & St Faith. Chancel Refurbishment.

PWDRO 116/85 Photograph. Saltash St Nicholas & St Faith. Screen.

West Briton (1897) Local Intelligence. Saltash. 14 October p. 5.