fonds PR/Y/HEL - Parish records of York, St Helen, Stonegate

Identity area

Reference code



Parish records of York, St Helen, Stonegate


  • 1568-1995 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.16 cubic metres

10 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

(fl 13th century-)

Administrative history

The church of St Helen Stonegate was first mentioned in 1235, although it is believed to be of much earlier, possibly Anglo-Saxon, foundation. It was at this time in the patronage of the Priory of Moxby, who retained it until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the sixteenth century when it passed to the Crown. A vicarage was ordained there in the fifteenth century but the parish remained small, serving only a few hundred houses.

In 1548 it was proposed to unite the parish with either St Sampson, St Michael le Belfrey or St Martin Coney Street and the church was subsequently suppressed and the building sold by the City Corporation. However the decision proved unpopular, and in 1553 parishioners was given permission to rebuild the church and repair the churchyard.

The churchyard was moved to Davygate in 1745 to make way for the creation of the present St Helen’s Square, and the benefice was augmented in 1757 through Queen Anne’s Bounty. It received additional grants from the Parliamentary Fund in 1804 and 1815 and the church was largely rebuilt in the 1850s by William Hey Dykes. The church tower was replaced in the 1870s by architect William Atkinson of York and the church's stained glass was repaired in the 1960s under the direction of George Pace.

In 1910 the benefice was united with that of St Martin Coney Street. St Helen’s Church remained in use and, following the destruction of St Martin’s by an enemy bomb in 1942, became the principal church for both parishes. In 1954 the two parishes were formally united and today they are part of a group of city parishes under a single priest-in-charge which includes All Saints Pavement, St Denys and St Olave.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1964 by the incumbent. Further additions were made to the archive in 1971, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1992, 1995 and 2006.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes register of christenings, 1568-1890 (note this register uses the Dade registration scheme for the years 1770-1812); register of marriages, 1568-1967; register of burials, 1568-1852 (note this register uses the Dade registration scheme for the years 1770-1812); register of services, 1901-1978; numbers of communicants, 1950-1976; records concerning benefice income, including papers and accounts, 1792-1915, glebe papers, 1911-1920, and papers relating to the Clarence Hotel site, 1887-1910; charity records, including accounts, 1792-1814, 1965-1966, valuation of trees, 1805-1806, and other papers, 17th century-1973; churchwardens’ records, including accounts, 1804-1873, 1894-1920, 1938-1980, rate receipts, 1933-1955, restoration subscriptions, 1857-1859, fabric papers, 1796, 1910-1914, 1925-1978, visitors' books, 1956-1980, churchyard papers, 1949-1978, and a photographic record of St Helen, Stonegate and St Martin, Coney Street, 1995; records of incumbents, including parsonage house papers, 1954-1956, and dilapidations papers, 1910-1914; overseers’ records, including accounts, 1821-1847, rates, 1841-1849, 1853-1854, 1856-1858, rate appeals, 1817, 1847, settlement certificates, examinations and appeals, 1805-1844, 1850-1852, apprenticeship indentures, 1806-1821, 1836, bastardy bonds and orders, 1792-1827, and removal orders, 1798-1851; records concerning parish rooms and societies, including St Helen's Clothing Club, bank book, 1890-1902; Surveyors’ records, including papers, 1796, 1813, and accounts, 1763-1825; Vestry/Parochial Church Council records, including minutes of meetings, 1894-1972, accounts, 1935-1980, press accounts, 1897-1977, electoral roll, 1968-1977, bill, 1911, schedules of documents belonging to the parish, 1808 and 1828, with list of benefactions, 1828.


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received up to and including 2006.

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Selected records, including registers of baptisms, 1568-1892, marriages, 1568-1900, and burials, 1568-1852, churchwardens' records, 1804-1873, overseers' of the poor records, 1792-1858, and surveyors' accounts, 1763-1825, are available on microfilm at the Borthwick Institute (References: MF 840, 1759, 1771 and MFB 2014).

Related units of description

For related material held by the Borthwick Institute, see the parish records of York, St Martin Coney Street which include a number of records covering St Martin with St Helen; viz minutes of the Parochial Church Council, 1992-1997, annual financial reports, 1988-1992, account books, 1986-1993, registers of services, 1900-1925, 1935-1954, and newsletters, 1991-1993.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created 18.11.15




Accession area