St Hermes

Edmund H. Sedding carried out a ‘thoughtful’ restoration completed in 1908, when the church was also reseated and refurnished (Beacham & Pevsner, 2014 p. 535), which may mean that V. Pinwill carried out more work than is represented below.

Pulpit – Photograph (PWDRO 244/4); 1908

It is evident from the PWDRO photograph that this pulpit is very similar in design to those at Crantock, Gorran, Lanteglos by Fowey, Lewannick, Linkinhorne, St Breward and St Buryan, but its whereabouts was unknown until a visit to St Erme in September 2014. It is dedicated to ‘… Our Mother Charlotte Tom Who died at Trispen Dec 1903’. Charlotte Tom was buried at St Erme and her headstone is to be found in the churchyard. The cost of the pulpit was £50 (Warner, 2022).

St Erme Lectern, Pulpit and Clergy Stalls
Lectern, Pulpit and Clergy Stalls at St Erme

Lectern – Photograph (PWDRO 244/5); 1908

A rather plain lectern sits in a highly ornate four-sided base, on which is inscribed ‘… in memory of Grace Elizabeth Bice given by her son E.C.A. Bice 1908’. On each side is a shield bearing the symbol of one of the four Evangelists, flanked by eagles with wings erect. It was part of the restoration completed in 1908 by Edmund H. Sedding (Warner, 2022) and presumably designed by him.

Clergy Stalls (2) – Photographs (PWDRO 244/4 & 244/5); 1911 & 1912

These ornately carved oak clergy stalls cost about £100 (West Briton, 1912). The right hand stall is inscribed with the words ‘Given by Samuel and Louisa Roberts of Laniley as a thankoffering 1911’. The left hand stall is marked merely ‘SE’ (presumably for St Erme) on one side and ‘1912’ on the other. Photographs of the stalls before dispatch appeared in a newspaper about a week before their dedication in late January 1912 (Western Daily Mercury, 1912).

Parclose Screen – Photograph (PWDRO 244/1); 1923

Across the transom of the south screen is inscribed ‘… in loving memory of John Dennis Cayzer who died March 5 1922 aged 87’. Below, on one of the panels, a further inscription states that the screen was erected by his devoted daughter Hester Cayzer in 1923. Interestingly, in the PWDRO photograph the memorial inscription reads ‘John Dennis S Cayzer’ and in the erected screen the presumably erroneous ‘S’ has been replaced by a barely discernible square of plain wood. There is a matching parclose screen on the north side of the chancel, which is similar to the inscribed one, although the running ornaments that form the cornice on both sides of both screens are composed of different patterns. There is a faculty plan for a parclose screen for St Erme dated 1930 that probably relates to the one on the north (CRO D/R 59) but this has not yet been verified.

Litany Desk – Photograph (PWDRO 244/4); date unknown

The whereabouts of the desk in this photograph was unknown until a visit to St Erme in September 2014. It is also very similar in design to a litany desk found at St Breward church that is assumed to be Pinwill work.


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

CRO D/R 59 Faculty Plans. St Erme. Parclose Screen.

PWDRO 244/1 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

PWDRO 244/4 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

PWDRO 244/5 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

Warner, M. (2022) A Time to Build: Signposts to the Building, Restoration, Enhancement, and Maintenance of Cornwall’s Anglican Churches and Mission Rooms. Scyfa, Cornwall.

West Briton (1912) Handsome Gifts. New Stalls Dedicated at St Erme. 1 February p. 4.

Western Daily Mercury (1912) Gifts to Cornish Church. 23 January p. 8.