St Aubyn, Chapel Street

The church of St Aubyn was built 1771-72, the first new church for the expanding Dockyard. A dwindling congregation meant that in 2008 a new purpose was needed for the building to maintain it into the future. By 2011 it had been transformed into a new site for Devonport Library, but it also houses a worship area for church services to continue.

Font Cover – No documentary evidence; date unknown

In May 2019, Graham Naylor, Development Manager, Plymouth Libraries, was curious about the font cover at St Aubyn and posted a photograph of it on Twitter. It was immediately recognisable as one carved by Violet Pinwill, being very similar to those at Tavistock and Broadclyst in Devon and at Kenwyn, Landulph and Pillaton in Cornwall, with a dove surmounting four arms and Aaron’s rod decoration on the rim. However, all these covers have the same outer shape as the font for which they were made, whereas the one at St Aubyn is round yet sits on an octagonal font. It is probable, therefore, that this font cover was not originally made for St Aubyn. It is inscribed ‘Given by the Communicants Guild 1938’ but this has not helped to ascertain from which church it may have come.