The featured church for May 2018 is St Helen’s, Thorney, which is in the far east of the county, near the border with Lincolnshire.
The stone church consists of a nave, chancel, vestry and west bell turret with two bells. It was built in 1849-50 to replace an unremarkable medieval church and was designed by the architect L N Cottingham. Pevsner has noted its ‘sumptuous ham-fisted Norman exterior.’ However, Henry Thorold in The Shell Guide to Nottinghamshire declared the church to be ‘as magnificent as it was unexpected’.
There is much fine carving on both the exterior and interior of the building, e.g. the west doorway, the details of the frieze, the great dragons’ heads in the four corners and the highly ornamental casket-like turret.
There is a piscina, sedilia, pulpit and lectern in stone and a large font.
In the chancel are monuments originally in the medieval church for Farington Nevile (d1760), George Nevile, (d1742) and his wife, and Richard Rothwell, (d1727).
Throsby described the original church in 1797 as having ‘a low brick tower with two bells, a nave and side aisle’. Two 15th century arcades from that building have been re-erected in the churchyard.
Further information on the church is available on the Southwell and Nottingham Church History Project website.