Austerfield St Helena

Official Listing Description



5th June 1968


(east side)

Church of St. Helena

Grade II

Church. Of, C12, C13 and C14; restored and extended 1897-8 by C. Hodgson Fowler. Rubble and coursed, dressed magnesian limestone; red tile and graduated slate roofs. 3-bay nave with west bellcote and north aisle, narrower 1-bay chancel with lean-to north vestry. Nave: chamfered plinth, west angle buttress, quoins to east. Added porch between bays 1 and 2 has ashlar side walls and wooden posts to an exposed arch-braced gable truss; scalloped bargeboard. Unrestored C12 south door has 2 orders of shafts with carved capitals and tympanum with carved dragon beneath arches with beak- heads and chevrons; hoodmould cut back. Bay 1 has a restored square-headed window of 2 ogee lights; similar, but taller, window to bay 2. Bay 3 has quoins on left of a C14, square-headed window of 3 ogee lights. Ashlar gable copings; ashlar bellcote and east cross. West end has central pilaster buttress between 2 quoined lancet windows (that on left C19); rebuilt upper gable with bellcote having string course beneath 2 pointed-arched openings and coped gable with cross. North aisle (of 1897) has reset C12 north door with plain round arch; to west a reset C14 window of 2 ogee lights beneath square head; to east are C19 3-light windows in same style; ashlar flue on left. Chancel: lower; C14 3-light south window with cusping and square- headed hollow-chamfered surround. East wall is of coursed dressed stone and has reset C14 3-light window with intersecting tracery in pointed, double- chamfered surround; east gable copings. Vestry, of 1897-8, has 2-light mullioned window to north and 1-light east window above basement door. Interior: well preserved C12 north arcade (encased in walling until re-exposure in 1897); westernmost bay has semi-octagonal west respond with crocketed capital and half-round east respond with waterleaf capital; double chamfered arch. Wallstone pier between bays 1 and 2, the other 2 bays having cylindrical pier and half-round responds with foliate capitals to plain round arches; central pier has sheila-na-gig facing south west. Chancel: C12 chancel arch with half-round inner responds and shafts to west, cushion capitals with masks, plain imposts, half-round mould continued around soffit, roll-moulding and incised zig-zag. Pointed-arched piscina recess with square bowl; to right of chancel south window is the chamfered right jamb of an earlier window. Font: tapered cylindrical bowl on C19 pedestal. Jacobean altar rail with turned balusters, carved top rail and newels with acorn finials. Late C19 stained glass by Kempe. Said to have been built by John de Builli c1080. North aisle built 1897 in memory of William Bradford, baptised here in 19 March 1589; Bradford sailed in the Mayflower in 1620 and became Governor of Plymouth Colony in 1621. Notes on restoration in The Doncaster Review, July 1896, pp 78-79.