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About St Helens

St Helens, Merseyside

 

 

 

 

St Helens is a large town in Merseyside,England. It is the largest settlement and administrative centre of theMetropolitan Borough of St Helens with a population of just over 100,000, while the larger metropolitan borough had a population of 176,843 at the time of the 2001 Census. The town was officially incorporated as amunicipal borough in 1868 responsible for the administration of the 4townships consisting of Eccleston, Parr, Sutton and Windle, with the larger responsibility as a county borough established in 1887 (superseded in 1974 by the larger still metropolitan borough).

St Helens is situated in the south west of the historic county of Lancashire, in North West England, 6 miles (9.7 km) north of the River Mersey. The town historically lay within the ancient Lancashire division of West Derby known as a "hundred".

The local area developed rapidly during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries into a significant centre for coal mining, andglassmaking. Both prior and during this time it was also home to a cotton and linen industry (notably sail making)  that lasted until the mid-19th century as well as salt, lime and alkali pits, copper smelting, and brewing.

Today, St Helens is very much a commercial town. The main industries have since left, become outdated, or have been outsourced leaving the float and patterned rolled glass producer Pilkington's, a world leader in their industry, as the town's one remaining large industrial employer. Previously the town had been home to Beechams (now part of GlaxoSmithKline), the Gamble family of the Alkali Works, Ravenhead glass (bought out by the Belgian nationalised Durobor), United Glass Bottles (U.G.B.), Triplex (owned by Pilkington, farmed out to India), Daglish Foundry (closed and demolished 1939), and Greenall's (now located in nearby Warrington).

 

 

 

 

St Helens Photo Montage.jpg
A montage of the town hall, St Mary's Lowe House Catholic Church, the Anderton Shearer Monument, the Ravenhead Colliery Mine Works, and the British Plate Glass Casting Hall, Ravenhead.

 

 

 

 

 

History

 

 

 

"St Helins" Chapel as recorded on a map of 1610.
Windle Chantry dates back to the 15th Century, with Sir Thomas Gerard responsible for its construction on his return from Agincourt around 1415
The Sherdley Old Hall farmhouse, built in 1671 in the Elizabethan style, a Grade II listed building.
"St Hellens" as recorded in 1818 OS.
A contemporary sketch of the original Town Hall, built 1839.
A photograph believed to be of the improvement commissioners offices built in 1852

 

 

 

 

St Helens did not exist as a town in its own right until as late as the middle of the 19th century. The town has a complex evolution spurred on by rapid population growth in the region during the period of the Industrial Revolution. Between 1629 and 1839 St Helens grew from a small collection of houses surrounding an old chapel, to a village, before finally becoming the significant urban centre of the four primary Manors and surrounding townships that make up the modern Town.

The origin of the name "St Helens" stretches back at least to a "chapel of ease" dedicated to St Elyn the earliest documented reference to which is in 1552. The first time the Chapel is formally referred to appears to be 1558 when Thomas Parr of Parr bequeathed a sum of money "to a stock towards finding a priest at St. Helen's Chapel in Hardshaw, and to the maintenance of God's divine service there for ever, if the stock go forward and that the priest do service as is aforesaid". Early maps show that it originally existed on Chapel Lane, around the approximate site of the modern pedestrianised Church Street. Historically this would have fallen within the berewick of Hardshaw, within greater Township of Windle (making up the southern border)abutting onto the open farmland of Parr to the East, and Sutton and Eccleston to the South and West respectively.

 

 

Until the mid-18th century the local industry was almost entirely based on small-scale home-based initiatives such as linen weaving The landscape was dotted with similarly small-scale excavation and mining operations, primarily for clay and peat, but also notably for coal and it's the coal to which the town owes its initial growth and development and (subsequently) the symbiotic relationship shared with the coal dependent copper smelting and glass industries.

Sitting bare on the South Lancashire Coalfield the town was built both physically and metaphorically on coal; the original motto on the borough council's coat of arms was "Ex Terra Lucem" (roughly translated from Latin to "From the Ground, Light") and local collieries employed up to 5,000 men as late as the 1970s. During the boom years of the British coal industry (with 1913 the peak year of production with 1 million being employed in UK mining industry) the St. Helens division of the Lancashire and Cheshire Miners' Federation (the local miners' union) had the largest membership (10%) of that federation.

 

 

 

 

Transport and infrastructure

 

 

 

 


 

St Helens viewed looking southwest in 2007. The town centre is at centre and the Linkway runs to the top. Sherdley Park is top left.Pilkington Cowley Hill works is bottom centre.

 

 

 

 

Location

 

 

St Helens is 11 miles (18 km) to the East of Liverpool and 23 miles (37 km) from the centre of Manchester. The town shares borders with the towns or boroughs of Prescotin KnowsleySkelmersdaleWarringtonWidnesWigan, and has direct transport links by road and via two main railway lines. The idea of its centralised location has formed the basis behind promotional literature by the local authority.

The town is considered part of the Liverpool Urban Area for ONS purposes.

 

 

 

Road

 

 

St Helens is well served by motorway links with the East/West corridors of the M58 and M62 to the North and South of the town respectively. The town is also served by the parallel running North/South routes of the M57 and M6 to the East and West.

The M6 runs a few miles to the eastern side of the town centre, with Junction 23, at Haydock, serving both north and south bound traffic and Junction 24, at Ashton in Makerfield, serving south bound exit and north bound access.

The M62 runs a couple of miles to the south of the town with Junction 7 at Rainhill Stoops. The M57's Junction 2 lies several miles south west of St.Helens, at Prescot. The M58 is several miles north, at the north-western end of the A570 Rainford By-Pass dual carriageway.

The A580 East Lancashire Road runs north of the town centre alongside Eccleston, Moss Bank and through Haydock. It is a dual-carriageway former trunk road taking traffic from Manchester to the Liverpool Docks. It was built between 1929 and 1934 and was opened by King George V. It was intended to take pressure away from the A58, a major road running from Prescot (M57) through St. Helens to the A1(M) at Wetherby, West Yorkshire.

The Rainford By-Pass is a section of the A570, between the East Lancashire Road and the M58 and is part of the transport route from Southport, in Sefton, through West Lancashire, through St Helens to the M62 Junction 7 at Rainhill.

A major development in communication was the opening of the dual-carriageway St Helens Linkway (classified as part of the A570) in 1994, which linked the town centre directly with the M62 (at Rainhill). The A572 takes traffic from the town centre through Parr to Earlestown and Newton-le-Willows.

In 2010 St Helens was proclaimed "UK's most car-friendly town" measured on variables such as "petrol prices, parking costs and the number of speed cameras in an assessment carried out by Virgin Money Car Insurance" in research conducted byThe Independent newspaper.


 

 

Education

 

 

 

Primary schools

 

 

The Borough of St Helens has one nursery school, one infant school, one junior school and fifty-two primary schools. Performance in the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 SATs has been consistently above national averages over the past 5 years.

 

 

 

 

Special schools

 

 

There are three special schools in St Helens - Penkford, Mill Green and Lansbury Bridge.

 

 

 

 

Secondary schools

 

 

 

The Borough of St Helens has nine secondary schools:

 

 


   

 

 


 

 

 

Further education

 

 


The town has seven educational institutions offering post-16 education in Cowley International College, Rainford High Technology College, Rainhill High School, The Sutton Academy, The Hope Academy - (all 11-18 secondary schools),Carmel College (a sixth form college) and St Helens College (a general FE college). Carmel College is a leading college in the country with a value added score of 328. The college is an associate of the University of Liverpool. St Helens College, which has recently rebuilt its Town Centre Campus, offers a wide variety of Higher and Further Education courses including degree courses, foundation degrees, BTECs and professional qualifications at the college's Business School. The college has a growing reputation for its standards and achievements. There is no university in St Helens; locals who stay in the area and go to university often take advantage of the surrounding universities such as Edge Hill (Ormskirk), Liverpool,Manchester, Salford and Chester.

 

 

 

 

 

Tourist Information

 

 

This is available on-line at www.visitst.helens.com

 

 

 

 

Museums


 

Located in the town centre, The World of Glass Museum, which opened in 2000 incorporating the Pilkington Glass Museum and the St. Helens Local Museum, has received many awards including North West Attraction of the Year.

The North West Museum of Road Transport is another museum located in the town centre. The Smithy Heritage Centre is a small museum in Kiln Lane, Eccleston about the works of a local blacksmith.

 

 

 

 

 

Parks, open spaces and nature walks

 

 

 

The Dream unveiled in 2009

"The Green Man" art installation on The Duckeries in Parr

 

 

 

 

 

Museums

 


Located in the town centre, The World of Glass Museum, which opened in 2000 incorporating the Pilkington Glass Museum and the St. Helens Local Museum, has received many awards including North West Attraction of the Year.

The North West Museum of Road Transport is another museum located in the town centre. The Smithy Heritage Centre is a small museum in Kiln Lane, Eccleston about the works of a local blacksmith.

 

 

 

 

 

Parks, open spaces and nature walks

 

 

 

 

The borough of St Helens has several major parks and open spaces. These include the historic Taylor Park, a listed Grade II Historic Park and Garden, that opened in 1893 as well as Victoria Park located near the town centre.

Sherdley Park is a modern park in Sutton which features a petting zoo and annually holds a funfair in the summer, usually in July, called the St Helens Festival (originally called the St Helens Show). Sherdley Park was purchased immediately after the Second World War from the Hughes Family.

Parr has Gaskell Park in addition to the reclaimed open space known as The Duckeries (or Ashtons Green), and shares a boundary with boggy heathland known as "The Moss" or "Colliers Moss" (traditionally associated with Bold and its power station) and the area known as the "Flash" (remnants of the canal tributary system and fishing ponds) with nature walk along part of the 7 mile route that makes up the Sankey Valley Country Park (part of the Trans Pennine trail).

A 20m tall sculpture, called Dream, has been erected on a former colliery in Sutton Manor in St Helens and can be seen from the M62 motorway.

 

 


St Helens Parks and open spaces:

 

 

 

 

  • Bishop Road Playing Fields
  • Carr Mill Dam, Carr Mill
  • Eccleston Park
  • Eccleston Mere
  • Fosters Park, Standish Street (formerly Hardshaw Park)
  • Gaskell Park, Fry Street / Lansbury Avenue, Parr
  • Grange Park, Broadway
  • Haresfinch Park, Woodlands Road, Haresfinch
  • Haydock Forest, Haydock
  • King George V Park and Playing Fields, Haydock
  • Mesnes Park, Newton Le Willows
 
  • Nanny Goat Park, Recreation Street, Pocket Nook
  • Queens Park, Lingholme Road
  • Recreation Park, Recreation Street
  • Sankey Valley Linear Park, Carr Mill/Laffak to Blackbrook to Newton-le-Willows
  • Sherdley Park, Elton Head Road, Marshalls Cross
  • Sutton Park, Robins Lane, Sutton
  • Stanley Bank Wood, Blackbrook
  • Taylor Park, Grosvenor Road, West Park
  • Thatto Heath Park, Thatto Heath Road
  • The Duckeries, Derbyshire Hill Road, Parr
  • Victoria Park, Cowley Hill Lane,
  • Willow Park, Newton-le-Willows

 

 

Gaskell Park, Taylor Park and The Duckeries all received Green Flag Award status in 2009. Also in 2012, King George V park received a Green Flag Award

 

 

 

 

Theatre

 

 

The first Theatre Royal was built on Bridge Street, opening in 1847[26] and was a large wooden barn. This was open for several seasons until heavy snow caused the roof to collapse. It was then replaced by a new Theatre Royal on Milk Street. This building can still be seen today, in its newer guise as The Citadel arts centre. The Theatre Royal on Milk Street consisted of stalls, two balconies and an ornate interior. It became extremely popular with touring theatre and music hall, playing host to the likes of Vesta Tilley and George Formby and some of the best known theatre productions of the day.

With growing audience figures, Revill built a new theatre on Corporation street and transferred the Theatre Royal name to this instead.

The Milk Street theatre was then purchased by the Salvation Army where it was more or less completely re-built internally. It was re named SA Citadel. It remained in this use for nearly 90 years, until the Salvation Army moved to a newer site. It was then opened as The Citadel arts centre in 1988, and was completely refurbished again in 2000. Today it is a popular venue for live music, theatre, community arts and other arts based activities.


 

 

 

 

 

 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Helens,_Merseyside


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