St Winifred

Manaton Screen
Detail of the new and original carving in the coving of the Chancel Screen at Manaton

Chancel Screen Restoration – Photograph (PWDRO 244/5) E.H. Sedding architect; 1893

This proved to be one of the most successful and prestigious early works of Rashleigh, Pinwill & Co., laying the basis from which other commissions flowed. Prior to restoration, the screen was found to be ‘in a pitiable condition’ (Western Morning News, 1893 p. 8), with many of the oak pins that held it together rotted away. The entire coving had been removed about 100 years before and pieces of the richly carved and gilded cornice fixed to the exposed surface. Much of the original screen, including the early sixteenth-century panels of saints and other polychromy, was used in the restoration, designed by Edmund H. Sedding and completed by May 1893. In common with other restored screens, the new carving was not coloured or gilded to match the existing, but left plain to signify that it was not part of the original. Interestingly, a report on the screen in The Queen (1895) states that the work was ‘carried out by M., E., and V. Rashleigh-Pinwill, of Plymouth’, although the workshop at Ermington was probably still in use by Ethel and Violet at the time it was made.

Both Bond & Camm (1909) and the guide (Manaton, undated) give the date of restoration as 1890, but the work was not assigned to Sedding until November 1891 (TBA, 1891). Anna Hulbert, who conserved the screen in 1980-82, stated that the screen ‘received a most sensitive restoration’ (part of her report reproduced in the church). The work appears in a list of notable ancient screens with modern vaulting in Devon (Slader, 1968).

Chancel Seats – Chaytor (1990); 1893

Parclose Screen Restoration – Chaytor (1990); 1893

There are no photographs at PWDRO of the chancel seats and parclose screens at Manaton, but they are listed on a handbill for Rashleigh, Pinwill & Co. as work already carried out. They are also mentioned very briefly in a newspaper report of work in hand by Rashleigh, Pinwill & Co. that makes it clear that while the chancel seats were new, the parclose screens were, in November 1893, ‘being restored in their workshop’ (Western Morning News, 1893b p. 5).


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

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

Manaton (undated) St Winifred’s Church Manaton. Unpublished guide within church.

PWDRO 244/5 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

Slader, J. M. (1968) The Churches of Devon. David & Charles, Newton Abbot.

The British Architect (1891) Summary of News. 20 November p. 390.

The Queen (1895) Manaton. 26 January p. 138.

Western Morning News (1893a) Restoration of Manaton Screen. 9 May p. 8.

Western Morning News (1893b) West of England News. 29 November p. 5.