St Mary the Virgin
Chancel Screen Restoration – Photograph (PWDRO 244/5); 1911
This ancient screen was at the Plymouth workshop awaiting restoration in 1910 when a fire broke out. The screen was partly destroyed but within a year the missing pieces were replaced with new work. Scorch marks sustained in the fire can still be seen on some of the wood. A report appeared in the Western Morning News (1911) after the restored screen was reinstated:
The fine old screen belonging to Rattery Church has just been beautifully restored and replaced in the church for Easter through the generosity of the Misses Carew, of Morley House, who have been responsible for it. The work was carried out by Rashleigh Pinwill, of Plymouth. This screen is a very fine example of the old Devonshire types, and has some unusual detail. The cove was entirely gone, and only some small portions of the cornice remained. These have been carefully repaired and reused, and all the new work based on the same designs as the old portions. It is some forty feet in length, and is a very great improvement to the church.
The guide states that the work and the fire occurred on the way to, or in, Exeter (Rattery, undated). This is rather unfortunate and misguided, as it implies that such restorations could not have been done anywhere except Exeter.
PWDRO 244/5 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.
Rattery (undated) The Church of St Mary the Virgin Rattery Devon.
Western Morning News (1911) West of England News. 17 April p. 6.