St James the Less, Citadel Road

St James the Less was begun in 1860 to the designs of J.P. St Aubyn (lostplymouthchurches). In 1884 the chancel was magnificently beatified under the architect T. Rogers Kitsell (PWDRO 3670) to become one of the most highly adorned churches in Plymouth and a bastion of Anglo-Catholicism. As well as designing the work below, Edmund H. Sedding carried out alterations to the Lady Chapel in 1902 (DHC DEX/9/a/2/PlymouthStJamestheLess/3). The church was destroyed in the blitz of March 1941 (Twyford, 2005) and another church of the same name was built at Ham Drive, but not until 1956 (Cherry & Pevsner, 2004).

Screen – Newspaper article (Western Morning News, 1892) E.H. Sedding architect; 1892

This church is listed in Chaytor (1990) as having work by the Pinwill company, but no further clues are given. A report in the Western Morning News provides more information:

One bay of a new screen has been fixed in St. James-the-Less Church, Plymouth, the gift of the vicar, having been designed by Mr. Edmund Sedding and executed by Rashleigh, Pinwill, & Co.; it will now be decorated by Fouracre & Son, Stonehouse.

A plan for a 12 ft ‘Side Screen’ exists at DHC (1626B/P/153) dated September 1891, which implies that this may have been among the first commissions Sedding attracted after setting up his practice in Plymouth. Interestingly, this is the only occasion when a screen designed by Sedding and executed by the Pinwills is known to have been decorated (i.e. painted). This work was carried out by Plymouth’s foremost stained glass makers, with whom Violet Pinwill later collaborated.


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

Cherry, B. & Pevsner, N. (2004) The Buildings of England. Devon. Yale University Press, London.

DHC 1626B/P/153 Plans. Plymouth St James the Less. Side Screen.

DHC DEX/9/a/2/PlymouthStJamestheLess/3 Faculty. Plymouth St James the Less. Lady Chapel.

PWDRO 3670 Plymouth: St James the Less, The Hoe and Ham, Parish. 1935-2007.

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 (1892) West of England News. 5 February p. 5.