St Helen


The church consists of chancel, nave, organ chamber, vestry, south porch, and west tower with pinnacles and spire, containing a clock and four bells. It was built in 1882 in 14th century Decorated style; the architect was Charles Hodgson Fowler.

The building is of ashlar with ashlar dressings and a tile roof.

Medieval cross slab

Three old slabs are incorporated in the floor of the base of the tower, the cross slab, an incised effigial alabaster slab to Hugh Hercy (d.1455) and his wife and a post-medieval ledger.

Cross slab

Rectangular floor stone, its base missing, Magnesian Limestone. Big straight-armed cross with cusped arms and fleu-de-lys terminals with the tops of the leaves upturned. Chalice on r, of shaft. Three lines of black letter inscription, somewhat damaged, on either side of upper arm of cross, ‘hic iacet dns Will……. Rector….ppiciet… ‘ legible. Perhaps later 14th century.

Description and drawing of the cross slab courtesy of Peter Ryder.

Technical Summary

Timbers and roofs

Main Ties with king posts and curved braces, ridge and side purlins with wind braces, all 1882. Canted boarding over five sides with posts to moulded wall plates, all 1882. Spire, stone, 1882.
S.Aisle n/a n/a  
N.Aisle n/a.    
Other principal      
Other timbers     Intermediate floors all C19th or C20th.


Timber bellframe of Elphick 'Z' form, Pickford Group 6A, all apparently 1882.

Not scheduled for preservation Grade 4.


Plaster covering & date Ashlar stone, no plaster or paint Ashlar stone, no plaster or paint Ashlar stone, no plaster or paint except first floor which has been plastered in part.
Potential for wall paintings None. None. None.

Excavations and potential for survival of below-ground archaeology

There have been no known archaeological excavations.

The fabric of the building dates entirely from a rebuilding of 1882 and sits a short distance north of the site of its predecessor. It is expected that below-ground stratigraphy will be very heavily disturbed throughout, although remnants of medieval and post-medieval deposits may remain at depth. The upstanding fabric is totally late-Victorian except for a medieval cross slab and an alabaster slab to Hugh and Elizabeth Hercy of c.1455; both have clearly been reused from the earlier church.

The churchyard is rectangular with the church offset to the north. Marked burials are present on all sides except for the north and many pre-date the rebuilding of the church. The building fronts a road on the east side and there is a late Victorian lych gate.

The overall potential for the survival of below-ground archaeology in the churchyard, is considered to be MODERATE-HIGH, comprising burials and much evidence of rebuilding in the C19th, but possibly with evidence of the earlier church if its footprint differs from the present building. Below the present interior floors of the rebuilt church it is considered to be LOW-MODERATE, again depending on where the earlier building stood. The standing fabric of the church is all late-C19th rebuilding and the potential for Victorian archaeology in the standing fabric of nave and chancel is considered to be MODERATE-HIGH.

Exterior: Burial numbers expected to be average with early burials around the south side. Possible evidence of an earlier church.

Interior: Stratigraphy under the church is likely to be very heavily disturbed late-C19th building layers but with the possibility of some survival of medieval deposits beneath.