St Winnow

St Winnow is a secluded church in a superb riverside setting. Beacham & Pevsner (2014) states that a restoration took place by E.H. Sedding, begun 1874 and completed 1907. Although the earlier work must have been by his uncle, John Dando Sedding, Edmund H. Sedding was certainly the architect for the screen restoration in 1907 outlined below.

St Winnow Screen
Restored Chancel Screen at St Winnow

Rood Screen Restoration – Photographs (PWDRO 116/84, 244/4 & 244/5); 1907

This is yet another example of a beautiful old screen (late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century) being restored to its former glory by the combined efforts of Edmund H. Sedding (Western Morning News, 1921) and the Pinwill sisters (West Briton, 1907). In the PWDRO there are ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs, the former showing the centre portion of the screen devoid of vaulting and coving and the south aisle section cut down to the transom rail. Both sections were fully restored and the West Briton reported that the cost was £350. Bond & Camm (1909 p. 396) remark that the ‘very fine’ screen ‘has the usual Cornish roughness of execution’ and likens the panels to those at St Buryan.

Rood – Guide (St Winnow, undated); 1907

The church credits V. Pinwill with both the screen and the rood, although the ‘after’ photograph in PWDRO 116/84 does not show a rood on the screen.

Statue of Madonna and Child – Photograph (PWDRO 116/84); 1950

This beautifully carved statue stands on a plinth within a canopy and is yet another example of the use of Madonna col figlio by Guercino as the basis for a design, in which the child raises his hand in the sign of benediction. It bears an inscription in memory of E.E.W. (died 1943) and W.J.W. (died 1948), to which has been added F.A.W. (died 1981). The first two were the parents of Frank Austen Whiteway, Pharmaceutical Chemist of Devonport, who married a local woman, Agnes Thelma Sherwill, in 1940 at St Winnow (Western Morning News, 1940). After Frank died in Lostwithiel in 1981, the statue was stabilised by the addition of a granite plinth and the last inscription carried out by a local carver (Tony Warren Nichols, former monumental mason, pers. comm. 29 April 2017). A faculty was raised for the statue in June 1950 (Warner, 2022).


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

Bond, F. B. & Camm, D. B. (1909) Roodscreens and Roodlofts. Pitman & Sons, London.

PWDRO 116/84 Photographs and Postcard. St Winnow. Chancel Screen, Figure of Madonna and Child.

PWDRO 244/4 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

PWDRO 244/5 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

St Winnow (undated) Unpublished guide within church.

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 (1907) St. Winnow Harvest Festival. 26 September p. 7.

Western Morning News (1921) Mr. Edmund Sedding. Plymouth Architect’s Death in London. Work for Churches. 23 February p. 8.

Western Morning News (1940) Devonport Man’s Cornish Bride. Popular Resident of Lostwithiel. St Winnow Ceremony. 12 September p. 6.