St Helen's Church, Overton

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St Helen's Church, Overton
St Helen's Church, Overton.jpg
St Helen's Church, Overton, from the southwest
St Helen's Church, Overton is located in the City of Lancaster district
St Helen's Church, Overton
St Helen's Church, Overton
Location in the City of Lancaster district
Coordinates: 54°00′41″N 2°51′16″W / 54.0113°N 2.8545°W / 54.0113; -2.8545
OS grid reference SD 441,576
Location Church Grove, Overton, Lancashire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Churchmanship Central
Website St Helen, Overton
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 2 May 1968
Architect(s) William Coulthard (1830)
Austin and Paley (restoration)
Architectural type Church
Style Norman, Gothic
Materials Sandstone, stone slate roofs
Parish Overton
Deanery Lancaster and Morecambe
Archdeaconry Lancaster
Diocese Blackburn
Province York
Priest(s) Revd D G Goddard
Churchwarden(s) Christine Masheter,
Gillian Gardner
Parish administrator Janet Purvis

St Helen's Church, Overton, is located in Church Grove, Overton, Lancashire, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Lancaster and Morecambe, the archdeaconry of Lancaster, and the diocese of Blackburn.[1] The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.[2]


The oldest parts of the church date from the 12th century.[2] In 1771 it was partly rebuilt, resulting in a chancel wider than the nave. A long north transept was added in 1830, the architect being William Coulthard.[3] A restoration of the church was carried out by the Lancaster architects Austin and Paley in 1902, when they removed plaster from the walls, added new floors, steps and seat, repaired the roof, and inserted stone mullions in three windows. This work cost £650 (equivalent to £75,000 in 2016).[4][5] During the course of the restoration the architects discovered the foundation of an earlier canted apse at the east end.[3]


St Helen's is constructed in sandstone rubble, with a stone slate roof. Its plan consists of a nave, a wider chancel, and a north transept containing the organ and a vestry. At the west end is a bellcote, beneath which is a plain two-light window. There are similar windows on the north and south sides of the nave and on the south wall of the chancel. On the south side of the church is a Norman doorway, with badly eroded carving. Above the doorway is a plaque, also eroded. The east window has a semicircular head with a keystone.[2] The windows in the transept are tall, with mullions and round heads.[3] Inside the church there are galleries at the west end, and in the transept. On the east wall are boards painted with the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer. The pulpit, with its sounding board, dates from the 18th century. The sandstone font is octagonal on a square base.[2]

External features[edit]

In the churchyard, to the south of the church is a sandstone cross base and part of its shaft, probably dating from the medieval era.[6] The churchyard also contains the war graves of an airman of World War I, and an airman and a Wren of World War II.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ St Helen, Overton, Church of England, retrieved 5 April 2012 
  2. ^ a b c d Historic England, "Church of St Helen, Overton (1071774)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 5 April 2012 
  3. ^ a b c Hartwell, Clare; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2009) [1969], Lancashire: North, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 489, ISBN 978-0-300-12667-9 
  4. ^ UK Consumer Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ Brandwood, Geoff; Austin, Tim; Hughes, John; Price, James (2012), The Architecture of Sharpe, Paley and Austin, Swindon: English Heritage, pp. 244–245, ISBN 978-1-84802-049-8 
  6. ^ Historic England, "Remains of cross approx 10 meres south of Church of St Helen, Overton (1071775)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 5 April 2012 
  7. ^ OVERTON (ST. HELEN) CHURCHYARD, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, retrieved 16 February 2013