St Helen

    Address

  • Church Road
  • Benson
  • OX10 6SF

    Amenities

  • Toilets: church
  • Local Amenities: pub

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  • Main Description

    The Church of England parish church of Saint Helen is partly ancient. John Marius Wilson described it as "variously late pointed Norman and decorated; has a modern tower; contains a Norman font and two brasses; and is very good." The parish includes the hamlets of Fifield and Crowmarsh-Battle or Preston-Crowmarsh. The village is often confused with RAF Benson which is a well-known RAF station and airfield. The RAF airfield boundary is immediately adjacent to the village, and the aerodrome's construction closed the former 'London Road'. The RAF station buildings are on the opposite side of the airfield to Benson village, adjacent to the village of Ewelme.

    The church tower was rebuilt in 1794. It has a single clock face on the east-facing side with hours displayed in Roman numerals. The clock face erroneously has the nine o'clock marker painted as "XI". The eleven o'clock marker is also XI. This mistake gained fame during the Second World War when Germany's English-speaking propaganda broadcaster, William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) promised an air raid on "an airfield near the village whose clock had two elevens". RAF Benson was bombed soon afterwards.

Church Grants

major refurbishment of the church bells including the sandblasting and redecoration of their wrought iron frame

2014/2015 | £4000

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