St Helen’s Church

St Helen's ChurchNo church is mentioned in Burghwallis’ entry in the Domesday Book, however the Grade II listed St Helen’s chapel is likely to have been either standing or under construction at the time. Several architectural features suggest it is of a pre-Conquest design, and it is held to have been built between 950 and 1100 AD. Parish records as far back as 1596 exist and are available from the Doncaster archives.

The 12th century St Helen’s church has a notable Norman doorway, and by the side of the church is an old cross. There is distinctive herringbone masonry in the walls of the nave and chancel, and the chancel has a lovely vaulted screen made in medieval days, which was restored in 1881. The south door has turned on its ancient iron hinges for many centuries. Buried in the churchyard is a Catholic priest, Abbe Louis de Roux, who escaped from the French Revolution. He was chaplain to an emigre Princess, and they were helped by the Anne family. She returned to France and the guillotine, but he remained, eventually dying at an old age.

© Burghwallis Parish Council 2017