Berrick Salome
St Helen

tower from north west
general view from south view from south east

Three views of the exterior of St Helen's Church. There is a small sundial above the transept gable (but you will have to visit the church to see it). The oak shingles were added to the belfry walls as late as 1891, as part of the improvements.

Dove's reference for the bells:

Berrick Salome, Oxon, S Helen (GF), 6, 7cwt in B flat. SU623943

South entrance Saxon font
 Enter the church through the south door; the external oak door is of greater antiquity than the interior door, although the latter is set in a simple round-headed arch which is thought to be Norman, or possibly late Saxon, in period.
 
Inside the door, under the gallery is the font, also dating from the Saxon period. although its cover is 15th - 16th century.
 
looking towards the east end altar window and piscina

Looking towards the Altar, the chancel is simply a small extension of the nave, because the building is oblong in shape with no chancel arch. To the right of the altar is a small piscina with shelf over.

There are mediaeval tile fragments in the chancel.
 

south transept and nave

 

nave and gallery

From the altar steps, turn to see the south transept (with its "Bee" window dating from approximately the 13th century), and the nave, with its west gallery.

The gallery was constructed in 1676, and reinforced in 1950. Further repairs were carried out in the 1970s.

Note that there is no pulpit. It was removed in the 1950s, but what exactly was removed is not known.
 

dated roof beam and queen posts roof plaque dated 1615


The roof timbers above the nave are a form of double queen post structure, and the main beam is dated 1615 immediately abopve the chancel steps. This, together with the dated inscription plaque over the Altar step, also dated 1615, were uncovered when the plastered barrel vault ceiling was removed during the restoration work in 1891.
 

detail of west wall above gallery tudor window heads, north wall

 


Compare the roof structure with the exposed timberwork in the west wall above the gallery (left), and see the Tudor headed brick windows (right) which were a later addition, as were those in the south transept.

inscription on front of gallery George II hatchment

The inscription, picked out in gold leaf, on the front of the gallery states:
 

 

1676

 

IOHN BARRETT

CHURCH

WILLIAM MOOAR

 

WARDENS

 

. . . and to its right on the wall hangs a hatchment dating from the reign of George II. The lion's face is almost human.
 

gallery

 

gallery steps


Beneath the gallery is a circular staircase set within the thickness of the west wall. There is no access at this point into the Belfry, which in some respects is almost a free-standing structure. The steps themselves have been renewed in concrete.

detail of stair top handrail north gallery window
 

Detail of the timber guard rail at the top of the staircase within the gallery.
 

 

Detail of the interior of the north gallery window.

roof timbers over nave

 

 

nave as seen from gallery
 

View through the roof timbers over the nave and chancel.

View of the nave and altar from the gallery..

pew detail
The original box pews were removed in 1891 during the general alterations, and were reduced in height and the doors were removed. However, not all traces were removed, because the doors were reused as wall panells, and the hinge marks can still clearly be seen, especially on the south wall just inside the main door arch.

The pews were also numbered, and the numbering system can be seen,somewhat rearranged, in the detail of the door ends which were reused as panelling along the north wall.
 
detail of timberwork to gables. south wall
A comparison of the detail to the eaves of the gallery window and the south porch.


Photographs: Edwin Macadam 2002

 

ACCESS

Map reference : SU623943 It is approached down a long unmade track to the south west of the village. The church was open at the time of our visit.

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This site has been constructed by, and remains the copyright of, its authors,
Edwin and Sheila Macadam,

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
Oxford OX2 9BP
July 2001 -