St Peter

Altar Top & Retable – Newspaper article (Western Morning News, 1895a); 1895

Until this newspaper article came to light, it was thought that the Pinwills did not produce any work for the interior of St Peter’s at Shaldon, designed by Edmund H. Sedding and furnished mainly in stone and metal by Henry Wilson (Wilson, 2016). The article reports on one of the annual joint exhibitions of paintings by Miss Cockram and woodcarving by Rashleigh Pinwill and their respective pupils at the Assembly Rooms, Royal Hotel, Plymouth. The account of the woodcarving states that, unfortunately, several really beautiful pieces were not available for the exhibition as they had had to be dispatched to customers and were therefore represented by photographs. These included work for Shaldon Church. At the same time as this evidence was revealed, it was discovered that Edmund H. Sedding had designed the altar at Shaldon (Western Morning News, 1895b) and not Henry Wilson. It is described in a report of its dedication, which states that the top of the stone altar was made of carved oak, richly gilded in front. At some point this top was replaced with a marble one. The report continues to describe a three-tier oak retable above the altar, carved with rose, shamrock and thistle, still evident today. Although the stone altar itself was made by Messrs Goad & Blowey, builders of Plymouth, it is highly likely that the associated woodcarving was carried out by Rashleigh, Pinwill & Co.


Western Morning News (1895a) Pictures and Carvings at Plymouth. 19 November p. 8.

Western Morning News (1895b) St Nicholas, Shaldon. 14 January p. 6.

Wilson, H. (2016) The Architect Edmund H. Sedding and his Devon Churches. Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 148, 255-292.