St Germanus

St Germans Memorial Angel
Semi-kneeling Angel on the Eliot Memorial at St Germans

Desks – Newspaper article (Western Morning News, 1902); 1902

According to a newspaper article, these finely-carved desks were the gift of Lord St German in October 1902. The fronts are ornamented with tracery and linen-fold panels and the ends with foliage of different patterns. The work was attributed to Rashleigh Pinwill of Plymouth, but no designer was named.

Door – Newspaper article (Western Morning News, 1903b) E.H. Sedding architect; 1903

In May 1903, it was announced in a newspaper article (Western Morning News, 1903a) that the Countess of St Germans had commissioned a door for the magnificent Norman portal of the church to replace the double doors there at the time. It would be a beautiful work of art and cost £100. By November that year the new door was in place and a further report stated that the work had been carried out by Rashleigh Pinwill to designs by Edmund Sedding (Western Morning News, 1903b). However, the metal work on the door, which includes a beautifully designed and crafted bronze handle made up of two sinuous fish, was by Henry Wilson (Beacham & Pevsner, 2014) who took over the architectural business of John Dando Sedding, uncle to Edmund.

Memorial – Photographs (PWDRO 116/76, 244/4 & 244/5); 1911

This beautifully designed and carved memorial is in the form of a semi-kneeling praying angel under an ornate canopy. The inscription reads ‘Dedicated All Saints Day 1911 as a thankoffering from Emily Countess of St Germans for her son John Glanville Cornwallis born St Barnabas Day 1890 the Son of Consolation’. The reason for such emotive language was that Emily’s elder son was found dead in the gun room at Port Eliot in 1909, having committed suicide. Then her husband, Henry Cornwallis Eliot 5th Earl, died suddenly from a stroke in September 1911 (The Globe, 1911), leaving John as heir – her ‘Son of Consolation’. The tragedy continued, however, and John died in 1922 at the age of 31 of wounds from an accident sustained during a point-to-point race (WDP, 1922). A small addition to this sad tale is that his correct name was John Granville Cornwallis Eliot, a mistake that would have been impossible to rectify.

Sources

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

PWDRO 116/76 Photograph. St Germans. Memorial Credence.

PWDRO 244/4 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

PWDRO 244/5 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

The Globe (1911) Death of Lord St. Germans. 25 September 1911 p.8.

Western Daily Press (1922) Lord St. Germans Dead. 3 April p. 5.

Western Morning News (1902) West of England News. 25 October p. 6.

Western Morning News (1903a) West of England News. 5 May p. 6.

Western Morning News (1903b) West of England News. 23 October p. 6.