Building » Helmsley – St Mary

Helmsley – St Mary

High Street, Helmsley, York, North Yorkshire

  • Parish website

An attractive late-nineteenth century stone-built Gothic chapel, its gable, roof and picturesque bellcote prominent in the northern approach to this historic town. Good set of Stations by Rosamund Fletcher. 

Built in 1894; there is a memorial in the church to its founder, Austin Bateman (died 1917), who is buried at Ampleforth. The architect has not been established, but similarities with Bernard Smith’s church at Kirkbymoorside, and the association of both buildings with Ampleforth, suggest that this too might be a design of Smith’s.


Small single-cell Gothic chapel, built of local stone with ashlar dressings. The frontage is set back behind the building line of the adjoining cottages. The church is reached via two flights of stone steps leading up to a central porch. This is built of timber and glass and has a lean-to pantile roof. Gabled front elevation with a single light trefoil window on either side of the porch, a niche with a statue over the porch and a quatrefoil and datestone tablet in the gable. Above this, an openwork bellcote, its pyramidal roof covered with fishscale tiles. The other sides of the church are hemmed in by neighbouring buildings, and are not visible in public views. There is a three-light Decorated window with trefoils at the ritual east end. A small sacristy gives off the sanctuary area.

The interior is a plain single space, with white painted walls and a king-post roof with double purlins.  The only furnishings of note are the modern series of eight Stations of the Cross disposed around the sanctuary walls, carved in 1980 by Rosamund Fletcher for St Benet’s Hall, the Ampleforth hall of studies at Oxford (brought to Helmsley in 1990).  `

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established, possibly Bernard Smith

Original Date: 1894

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed