Church of England Diocese of Oxford Berrick Salome

About Us

Whereas official records date back to
1087, the site of the Church of St
Helen (the mother of the Roman
Emperor Constantine and a favourite
saint of King Ethelbald who ruled the
area after he had annexed this area
of Wessex into his kingdom of
Mercia
in about 800AD) has probably been
sacred since the 8th century.
One of the oldest features of the
Church is the decorated Saxon font
but the whole building is of great
interest. Around 1615 the original
roof was replaced with one of a
queen-post type with a complex
timber truss. This resulted in the
present vaulted roof of great
functional beauty.
The wooden gallery at the west end
of the nave was built in 1676 and a
dormer widow at each end provides
light at this height. The Church itself
is only about 65 feet long including
the bell tower.
For those who search there are
many small corners of interest
including some randomly
repositioned mediaeval floor tiles at
the east end of the nave and chancel,
sculptures of fishes and doves
(associated with the position of the
font) and the 13th century "bee"
window.