Mantle and Cupboard Doors – Local tradition, Pinwill sisters carvers; date unknown
Local people maintain that these items, located in a private house near the church, were carved by the Pinwill sisters. A visit in November 2013 concluded that the work was probably not by the Pinwills. It did reveal, however, that several carvers seemed to be involved in creating the pieces. Swags of flowers and fruit on either side of the mantle were of a high standard of design and execution but the carving and the finish on the rest of the piece were less impressive. The panels of the cupboard doors contained shallow carvings of flowers in a simple but competent style. The suggestion was made that if the carvings were by the Pinwill sisters, they must have lived there at some stage, but there is no evidence for this. At the time that the Revd Edmund Pinwill was at Ermington, Kingston was a daughter church and he travelled there regularly to conduct services (Chaytor, 1990). The church of St James the Less in Kingston was restored by Edmund H. Sedding between 1893 and 1907 but he does not seem to have employed the woodcarving skills of the Pinwill sisters, although the guide (Petter, 2009) states that one of them helped run a bazaar to raise funds for the work. Perhaps rather surprisingly, there is no attributable Pinwill work in Kingston.
Chaytor, E. (1990) Ermington Days. Melinga Publishing, North Cheam.