Charles, Exeter Street

Plymouth Charles Church Reredos
Reredos at Charles Church (PWDRO 244/4 with permission of Pinwill family)

Charles (not Charles the Martyr) Church was destroyed during the blitz of Plymouth on the night of 21 March 1941 (Twyford, 2005) and remains as a shell in memory of the 1,200 civilian dead of Plymouth. It is likely that Violet Pinwill carved more items for Charles Church than is represented below.

Reredos – Photograph (PWDRO 244/4); 1914

The lack of any annotations to this photograph meant that the whereabouts of this reredos remained a mystery for some time. However, a file of photographs held at Plymouth Library contains one of the interior of Charles Church in which the reredos is clearly recognisable. It probably dates from the restoration of 1914 (Graham Naylor, Development Manager, Plymouth Libraries, pers. comm.).

Font Cover – Photograph (PWDRO 116/4) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1940

A newspaper report describes how this ‘beautiful and unusual’ font cover, given in memory of Douglass James and his wife, was dedicated on 24 April 1940 (Western Morning News, 1940 p. 3), just less than a year before the church was destroyed. A faculty exists at DHC (DEX/9/a/3/1940/6) that includes a scale drawing of the oak font cover signed by Violet Pinwill, which indicates that she designed the work.


DHC DEX/9/a/3/1940/6 Faculty. Plymouth Charles. Font Cover.

PWDRO 116/4 Photograph. Plymouth Charles. Font Cover.

PWDRO 244/4 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

Twyford, H. P. (2005) It Came To Our Door. Plymouth in World War II – A Journalist’s Eye Witness Account. Revised and illustrated by C. Robinson. Pen & Ink Publishing, Plymouth.

Western Morning News (1940) Charles Church. Plymouth Memorial to Former Worshippers. 25 April p. 3.