Located immediately outside the village (to the north), on slightly rising ground commanding the approach from York to the east, St Helen's has a site very typical of Vale of York churches. It is largely late 12th century in date, only the chapels north and south of the chancel being later.
The church consisted first of all of a nave and chancel to which aisles were soon added. The west front has a central window with a circular window above, both of which are original, and another original window opens on to the south aisle. The Norman chancel arch is decorated with zig-zag and the arcade capitals are octagonal, similar to those in nearby Wighill church; the capitals on the south side of St Helen's are decorated with fleur de lys. The south door of the porch is Norman and was probably moved from its original location when the south aisle was built. It has capitals with scallops and waterleaf.
Pevsner, N. and Radcliffe, E., 1967. The Buildings of England, Yorkshire: The West Riding (London, Penguin), 101-2