St Petroc

Harford Pulpit
Detail of the Pulpit at Harford

Pulpit – Chaytor (1990) Orme (2008) V. Pinwill designer; 1920

This pulpit is dedicated to F. Morton and Lionel M. Eden, husband and son, respectively, of Minnie Pitts Eden, with the dates 1880-1919.

Choir Stalls – Chaytor (1990) Orme (2008) V. Pinwill designer; 1920

They are dedicated to Edward and Elizabeth Allen, parents of Minnie Pitts Eden.

Organ Case – Chaytor (1990) Orme (2008) V. Pinwill designer; 1920

Screen to Organist’s Seat – Chaytor (1990) Plan (DHC 1626B/P/27)

Chancel Seat – Chaytor (1990) PCC Minutes (PWDRO 1511/13); 1920

Pulpit Handrail – Chaytor (1990) PCC Minutes (PWDRO 1511/13); 1921

Sanctuary Panelling – Chaytor (1990) PCC Minutes (PWDRO 1511/13); 1921

None of the work listed above is represented in the photographs at PWDRO but Chaytor (1990) states that Pinwill work is to be found there and Orme (2008) confirms that the pulpit, choir stalls, and organ case were carved by Violet Pinwell (sic). A faculty was granted 29 April 1920 for the pulpit, choir stalls and organ case (PWDRO 1854/2) but in faculty papers held at DHC (DEX/9/a/2/Harford/7), as well as plans for these three items, there is one for an additional chancel seat behind the choir stalls. Plans for the organ case and screen for organist’s seat exist at DHC in the papers of Sedding and Wheatly (1626B/P/25-27).

According to the minutes of the PCC, in 1920 Mrs Eden donated the funds for this work to be carried out in memory of her husband and son and her parents (PWDRO 1511/13). In addition, in May 1920 the church paid Violet Pinwill £66 after agreeing in April to replace the pitch pine seat that forms a screen between the chancel and the south aisle with one in carved oak. In 1921 Mrs Eden again donated funds for the addition of a handrail to the pulpit, which was almost certainly carried out by V. Pinwill. In the same year Mrs Eden paid for the installation of carved sanctuary panelling, which again was probably completed by V. Pinwill.

An intriguing mistake was observed on a visit to see these items. The border around the top of the pulpit is carved with vine leaves, grapes, birds and animals. Each corner should meet so that the pattern continues, with leaves meeting leaves and grapes meeting grapes. However, the order has not been followed, so that in two places leaves meet grapes. This would have been the responsibility of the joiners sent to install the woodcarvings. Perhaps it was a Saturday afternoon and they were in a rush to get back to Plymouth.

Memorial Plaque(s) – Hedges (2005); 1930s

Ron Dustan, who worked as a wood carver for Violet Pinwill, remembers making a wall panel for this church in the 1930s. This may correspond to a plan held at DHC (1626B/P/25) drawn by Rashleigh Pinwill for a Roll of Honour for those who died in WWI, although the design differs somewhat from the one made. It may, alternatively or additonally, apply to a memorial to Lt Colonel Alfred Matthews who died in 1938, for which there is a sketch by V. Pinwill held in faculty papers (DEX/9/a/2/Harford/7), although again it is different from the plaque in the church.


Chaytor, E. (1990) Ermington Days. Melinga Publishing, North Cheam.

DHC 1626B/P/25-27 Plans. Harford. Roll of Honour, Organ Case, Screen for Organist’s Seat.

DHC DEX/9/a/2/Harford/7 Faculty. Harford Pulpit, Choir Stalls and Organ Case.

Hedges M. (2005) Ron Dustan, Woodcarver in West Country Churches. Dartmoor Society Newsletter 22, 14-19.

Orme, N. (2008) The Pilgrim’s Guide to Devon’s Churches. Cloister Books, Exeter.

PWDRO 1511/13 Minutes. Harford. Vestry and PCC Meetings 1879-1963.

PWDRO 1854/2 Faculty. Harford. Pulpit, Choir Stalls and Organ Screen.