St Peter & the Holy Apostles, Wyndham Square

The church of St Peter in Wyndham Square was gutted by fire on 21 April 1941 (Twyford, 2005) and later restored, so that any work by V. Pinwill made before then was destroyed.

Tabernacle Top made for St Peter’s, Plymouth
(Photo: PWDRO 244/6 with kind permission of the Pinwill family)

Tabernacle Top – Photograph (PWDRO 244/6) A. Southcombe Parker architect; 1938

The photograph in PWDRO shows a carved and gilded four-sided cover for a tabernacle. In early 1938 A. Southcombe Parker and V. Pinwill submitted separate bills for their respective work in the design and production of the piece, with the former amounting to £2 12s 6d and the latter £11 (PWDRO 849/27). After it was destroyed in the fire only three years later, a claim was made by the church to the War Office for, among many other items, a ‘Tabernacle Carved Top’ valued at £13 12s 6d (PWDRO 849/19).

Lady Chapel Stalls – Bills (PWDRO 849/27) A. Southcombe Parker architect; 1940

The bills for these stalls, for which no description or photographs is known, were presented by A. Southcombe Parker to the church in March 1940. He sent his own bill for the design work at £4 10s 0d and also forwarded one from V. Pinwill that came to £32 12s 0d.

Christmas Crib – Letters (PWDRO 849/27); 1940

The evidence for this work comes solely from letters sent by Violet Pinwill to Prebentary Harvey at St Peter’s in August and September 1941, after the disasterous fire. While she commiserated with the plight of the church, Violet stressed that the work done at Christmas on the crib had cost her a considerable amount, with an outlay in materials and wages of £21 19s 3d without any other costs for overheads or her time. She hoped that the church may be able to find the money to pay her bill, perhaps from a private donor, and that the work had not been destroyed. Prebentary Harvey’s reply is not recorded, but Violet felt compelled to send a further letter reiterating the costs to her of carrying out the work, hoping for at least a part payment, but recognising that it must be a very difficult time for the church. There is no further correspondence to show whether or not Violet was paid for the crib.


PWDRO 244/6 Photographs. Various. Woodcarvings.

PWDRO 849/19 Inventory. Plymouth St Peter. Items in claim from War Damage Commission.

PWDRO 849/27 Bills and Letters. Plymouth St Peter. Work in church 1924-1941.

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.