Place House

Restoration of Main Staircase and Hall Roof – PCM Pinwill Collection (PLMG.1942.5.5.1-10); date unknown

Immediately next to the parish church in Fowey lies Place House, a building first recorded in 1457 and reconstructed between 1813 and 1845 in an exuberant Romantic Gothic style (Beacham & Pevsner, 2014). The main staircase is decorated with ‘a riot of monsters and beasts… with serpents coiling around tree trunks, angular dolphins forming the balusters, and toads and crabs facing up to each other’ (Ibid. p. 203). The ten pieces of carving from Place House in Plymouth City Museum’s Pinwill collection are all Gothic in style and include a bracket labelled ‘Staircase’ and an acanthus leaf labelled ‘Hall Roof’. The presence of these carving in the collection does not necessarily mean that V. Pinwill was involved in any restoration work at Place House; she may have simply acquired the pieces elsewhere. However, given her association with Fowey through her Rashleigh ancestors and her work elsewhere in the area, it cannot be ruled out.

Sources

Beacham, P. & Pevsner, N. (2014) The Buildings of England. Cornwall. Yale University Press, London.

PLMG.1942.5.5.1-10 Photographs of Carvings from Place, Fowey, Cornwall, held at Plymouth City Museum, donated by Violet Pinwill in 1942.