St Michael and All Angels

Chancel Chair – Newspaper article (Western Morning News, 1905); 1905

Cornwood church is listed in Chaytor (1990) as having Pinwill work but there is no further information. However, an article in the Western Morning News about an exhibition of woodcarving by Rashleigh, Pinwill & Co. in Plymouth in February 1905 reveals that one of the items on display was a chancel chair for Cornwood church. It is described as:

… very handsome and interesting, all the detail of which is emblematic. In the centre is the Tree of Life, at the top the Exeter Arms, with the Bishop’s mitre above, and below the Lion and the Lamb representing peace, under the seat the Serpent and Thistles (WMN, 1905 p. 8).

This description enabled the identification of an unlabelled photograph in PWDRO 116/116 and 244/4 as being the chancel chair for Cornwood church. It is indeed a handsome and ornate piece of work. The designer could have been either Edmund H. Sedding or Frederick Bligh Bond, as both architects are listed as having work in the Pinwill exhibition.


PWDRO 116/116 Photograph. Various. Chairs.

PWDRO 244/4 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

Western Morning News (1905) Exhibition of Wood-Carving in Plymouth. 15 February p. 8.