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St HELEN and the HOLY CROSS, Sheriff Hutton
The church of St Helen and the Holy Cross at Sheriff Hutton dates from at least the 12th century, though there is a small window above the west door that may be 11th century. Traditionally, some of the blocks used in its construction are said to have come from the Roman walls of York. It was extended in later centuries by local families, the most notable of which was probably the Nevilles. The church’s most notable features are probably the tomb and effigy of Sir Edmund Thweng and the alabaster cenotaph and effigy of a boy, once thought to be Edward of Middleton, Prince of Wales and son of Richard III and Anne Neville, who died in 1484. In fact, it is more likely to be a memorial to a young Neville, Ralph, who died sometime around 1436.
Outside in the churchyard are the remains of a rectangular ringwork fortification – Sheriff Hutton’s first castle. This may have been built by one Ansketil de Bulmer – who possibly had Saxon heritage – sometime after the Norman Conquest. Alternatively, it may have been constructed a little later, during the period known as ‘the Anarchy’ (1138-53).