The Remarkable Pinwill SistersThe Remarkable Pinwill Sisters
A talk by Dr Helen Wilson - Saturday, 8 April 2023
Following our AGM, The Society were treated to a fascinating talk over the Easter weekend by Dr Helen Wilson. Helen has spent the last 10 years researching the Pinwill sisters, Mary, Ethel and Violet, who with the support of their mother, learnt to carve as teenagers during the restoration of their father’s church at Ermington, Devon. With the patronage of architect Edmund H. Sedding, they established a professional woodcarving business, Rashleigh, Pinwill & Co in 1890, which later relocated to Plymouth. After about 1907, Violet ran the business single-handedly, with a workforce of nearly 30 carvers and joiners during the peak years, establishing one of the best wood and stone carving companies in the West Country. By the time Violet died in 1957, there were over 650 pieces of carving work in more than 180 churches in Devon and Cornwall.
Helen has now published a book about these remarkable women which is beautifully illustrated.