Monument record MYO3682 - Former burial grounds of St Helens Church


St Helen's original cemetery, located under what is today St Helens Square, which was bought in 1729 by York Corporation to allow traffic to pass through Davygate more easily. The replacement burial ground occupies part of the site of Davy Hall. It was consecrated in September 1745 and replaced. However, the replacement cemetery wasnt available until 1745, by which time the old cemetery had been levelled and paved and formed part of St Helen's Square.


Grid reference Centred SE 6022 5192 (83m by 75m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

(20) St. Helen's Burial Ground, Davygate, occupies part of the site of Davy Hall, on the S. W. side of the street, bought by York Corporation in January 1729. In October 1729 the vicar and churchwardens of St. Helen's church proposed to York Corporation 'to cutt of[f] part of their churchyard so far as to answer to the opening of Blake Street and to lay it to the street so as a coach may drive with greater ease and conveniency', but it was not until 1745, with the demolition of Davy Hall, that an alternative burial ground became available. This, about 30 ft. by 40 ft, and walled about, with gates to Davygate, was ready in September 1745, by which time the old churchyard had been levelled and paved and formed part of St. Helen's Square.

The burial ground is slightly raised above street level and is roughly square, having been truncated in road widening. It has been paved, and all surviving monuments except one are lined upright against two enclosing walls. There are eleven monuments, all of sandstone, four of which are incomplete or illegible. Two are of 19th-century date. The 18th-century monuments are: (1) William Peckitt, 1776, and Anna his wife, 1787, the parents of William Peckitt the glass-painter; (2) Jane Coulson, 1785; (3) Edward Greggs, 1795; (4) William Grunwell, 1793, Ann his mother, 1794; (5) Margaret, daughter of Martin and Joanna Burnell, 1787, panel with pediment decorated with half-urns and palmette frieze.

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5, Central. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1981.

NMR Information

613515 Architectural Survey Investigation by RCHME/EH Architectural Survey

BF060250 ST HELEN'S BURIAL GROUND, YORK File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued.

NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

RCHME, 1981, City of York Volume V: The Central Area (Monograph). SYO65.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.
  • --- Monograph: RCHME. 1981. City of York Volume V: The Central Area.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Jun 22 2020 7:12PM


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