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Saint Helen's Church at Beamish: Opening on 15th November 2015

Saint Helen's Church Re-Opening on 15th November 2015

Saint Helen's Church started life as a 12th century Chapel of Ease within the parish of Ormesby, and received its own priest in 1545.   The Nave was completely rebuilt in 1822.
It became a parish church in 1868 until the building of Christ Church at Eston in 1884 when it became a cemetery chapel.
The final funeral service was held in Saint Helen's in 1985, after which it was sealed up by the local Council.
Regretably, the building was badly vandalized and even set on fire in 1992 causing the roofs to collapse.   The 1822 Vestry was entirely removed by thieves overnight and the Chancel Arch and parts of the medieval Chancel were pulled down.   The remaining fittings and furnishings including the font also disappeared.
This grade II listed church was dismantled in 1998 with some interesting finds.   The numbered stones and rescued remnants were moved and stored at Beamish Open Air Museum for over 10 years.
In 2011 the museum began rebuilding Saint Helen's Church in the 1822 Georgian Style.
By August 2012 the main fabric had been completed and made secure before the winter weather.   Further funding was eventually raised to restore the interior of the church with a recovered font, box pews & bells.
Members of our history group were pleased to be invited to the opening of the restored church on 15th November 2015.

Well done Beamish for doing such a good job of preserving our past!
(photos and video by Barbara & Harry Greenmon)
 2015 St.Helens Church Opening 
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