St Helen


St. Helen’s dates to the 14th and 15th centuries according to the Listed Buildings text.  The church was restored and partly rebuilt by Ewan Christian in 1879, and presently comprises a west tower, a nave with south porch, a chancel and a vestry. All the windows, which are of ooidal and bioclastic Lincolnshire Limestone (potentially Middle Jurassic Ancaster Stone), apparently date to the 19th century restoration episode.

The 3-stage tower is questionably of early 15th century age in its entirety.  The lower stage chiefly comprises large ashlared blocks of ‘Waterstones-type’ Triassic sandstone* (likely originating from the Gedling-Sneinton area of modern-day Nottingham).  Extensive repairs have been carried out using Lower Carboniferous Millstone Grit sandstone (e.g. the south-west buttress), another (?)Carboniferous sandstone (presumably from the Coal Measures) and occasional blocks of Late Permian ‘Magnesian Limestone’ (Bulwell or Linby Stone).  Stages 2 and 3, and indeed the upper parts of stage 1, are constructed of ashlared blocks of pale yellow cum orange-buff sandstone.  The lithological and weathering characteristics of this sandstone (as seen from ground level) suggest that it is of Upper Carboniferous age, and likely quarried from the Coal Measures succession.  Given the absence of exposed Coal Measures strata near Kneeton, this stone type must have been brought from West Nottinghamshire-Derbyshire or Yorkshire.
Moving along the south side of the building, the (?)19th century porch is constructed of irregularly coursed slabs of thinly bedded Skerry Sandstone (‘quarried’ locally from the Late Triassic Mercia Mudstone Group succession, or simply collected as ‘fieldstones’) plus blocks of Lincolnshire Limestone and orange, coarsely crystalline Bulwell Stone – a variety of ‘Lower Magnesian Limestone’ (now the Cadeby Formation) formerly quarried prolifically in north-west Nottingham.  The quoins and 14th century-style doorway are of Lincolnshire Limestone.

The south elevation of the nave comprises an irregularly coursed rubble of Skerry Sandstone slabs, ‘Waterstones-type’ Triassic sandstone, Lincolnshire Limestone and occasional blocks of Bulwell Stone.  ‘Waterstones-type’ Triassic sandstone has been used for the buttress at the junction with the chancel.

The south chancel stonework is reminiscent of that of the nave, consisting of Skerry Sandstone-dominated rubble.  Lincolnshire Limestone has been used for the off-centre priest's door and also for the moulded sill band.  This is also true of the buttress facings and quoins, and the moulded sill and ‘eaves’ bands, at the (?)rebuilt east end.  Larger blocks of ‘Waterstones-type’ Triassic sandstone and Lincolnshire Limestone are conspicuous between the sill and ‘eaves’ bands.  Slabs of Skerry Sandstone dominate the rubblestone walling of the north chancel and also of the attached 19th century vestry.  The quoins and plinth moulding of the latter are of Lincolnshire Limestone.

Continuing westwards, the walling of the north nave comprises squared blocks and rubble of ‘Waterstones-type’ Triassic sandstone, Lincolnshire Limestone and Bulwell Stone (in order of volumetric abundance).  Some Skerry Sandstone is also present and there are replacement inserts of Triassic sandstone typical of that quarried in the Hollington area of Staffordshire.  Lincolnshire Limestone and Bulwell Stone have been used to repair the buttresses (originally of ‘Waterstones-type’ Triassic sandstone).
The church is roofed with red plain clay tiles.


* This name is applied to the sandstones formerly referred to as the ‘Keuper Waterstones’, but which are now assigned to the Tarporley Siltstone Formation of the Mercia Mudstone Group.