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St. Helen's Parish Church is believed to have originated from a small church of stone built by the Saxons before the Norman Conquest. The first written evidence of it is in the Domesday survey of 1086. From the middle of the twelfth century the Church belonged to Welbeck Abbey who reconstructed it in the Perpendicular style. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 the Church of St. Helen's and the Manor of Etwall were given to Sir John Port the elder by Henry VIII. The church was largely rebuilt by Sir John Port, following a violent storm in 1545. Sir John and his father Henry are both buried in the Port Chapel. Sir John's altar type tomb is under the low arch between the Port Chapel and chancel. A memorial stone to Henry Port and brasses to his second wife and seventeen children can be seen in the church, in the doorway between chancel and vestry. Sir John's son, John Port II, has a marble tomb in the south chancel, surmounted by a monument with brasses of him, his two wives and five children. During the eighteenth century, like many other churches in the country, the fabric of the church had been allowed to deteriorate. In 1805 the diocesan court at Lichfield approved the provision of new seating, pulpit and reading desk to replace those 'very ancient and decayed'. The church of St. Helen's was then subjected to restorations. The Norman archway between the nave and chancel was taken down and the whole interior roof was plastered. Six years later the interior walls were whitewashed. It was not until 1881, following approval from Lichfield, that the plaster and whitewash and various incongruous fittings, including two galleries were removed and the interior was restored to its former dignity by F J Robinson. At this time the pulpit was resited, and new floors, pews, choir stalls and an organ were installed.