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Monument record MDR11404 - 'Old' St Helen's House (site of), Derby

Type and Period (1)

  • (Tudor to Elizabethan - 1540 AD? to 1600 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Old St Helen's House faced King Street prior to the creation of St Helen's Street. It was a large detached building with walled garden and enclosed yards. Joseph Wright lived at Old St Helen's House between 1779 and 1793. Following the creation of St Helen's Street, parts of St Helen's House became the site of Browns Spar Ornament Manufactory, first documented in 1802. The Derby Mercury recorded the demolition of Old St Helen's House in 1800, but map evidence suggests that the Spar site used parts of Old St Helen's House as part of the works, until replaced completely in 1818. (1) In 2006 Trent & Peak Archaeological Unit was commissioned by Metropolitan Housing Trust, through Franklin Ellis Architects, to carry out an historic building survey on 10-14 St Helen's Street and adjacent land, in advance of redevelopment. The extensive research carried out on the site by local historian Jane Steer in recent years is drawn upon, and with the use of maps a summary of the history of the site is suggested. Speed's map of 1610 appears to show buildings on the site surviving from the former St Helen's Hospital, founded AD 1137. Old St Helen's House, built in the 17th century, probably incorporated parts of the former hospital, and Woolley, writing c.1712, referred to the 'religious house … now converted into dwelling houses'. (2, 3) King Street: former marble works. This is the site of the former convent of St Helen, founded as an Augustinian monastery in c.1137 and dissolved as an hospital and daughter-house of the Abbey of St Mary, Darley, in c.1538. The residual buildings were then converted into a town house and here the diplomatist Alleyne Fitzherbert, 1st Lord St Helen's was born in 1753. He helped settle the American War of Independence and Mount St Helen's was named after him. From 1772-1793 the house was let to Joseph Wright. The freeholders of the house were the Sikes family of The Chauntry, Newark. Old St Helen's was pulled down in 1799-1800, the materials offered for sale in the Derby Mercury, and St Helen's Street laid out at this time. (4) In December 2003 Birmingham Archaeology undertook a desk-based and historic building assessment of land in the St Helen's area of Derby city centre, delimited by Lodge Lane, St Helen's Street, King Street and Willow Street. A summary of the archaeological and historical development of the site is based largely on the work of Steer. A sketch of Old St Helen's House in 1792 is subject to buildings analysis. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Morris, M (Mel Morris Conservation). 2004. Study to Identify Candidate Buildings for Grant Assistance and a Review of Conservation Area Boundaries, Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Extensions to Strutts Park Conservation Area.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Sheppard, R (TPAU). 2006. An Historic Building Survey of 10-14 St. Helen's Street, Derby, 2006.
  • <3> Article in serial: Sheppard, R. 2007. 'Derby, St Helen's Street', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 127, pp 128-130.
  • <4> Unpublished document: 2007. 'Derby Civic Society Suggested Local List Additions', Derby Civic Society Newsletter. No. 85, pp 15-26. pp 19-20.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Hislop, M (Birmingham Archaeology). 2003. Land Between King Street, St. Helen's Street and Lodge Lane, Derby: An Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment and Building Assessment. p 4, Fig. 7.



Grid reference SK 34985 36767 (point)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3895
  • EDR2490

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Nov 16 2017 10:25AM

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