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Follow St Helens Heritage Trail as town hall becomes latest landmark

1 month ago

Follow St Helens Heritage Trail as town hall becomes latest landmark
Credit: Pete Stuart

St Helen’s Town Hall has become the latest landmark on a new trail to highlight the town’s heritage and encourage visitors.

A special plaque, the seventh, was unveiled outside the Victoria Square building.

Like others, it contains a QR code people can scan for historic information, including the fact the gothic-style building, completed in 1876, replaced the old town hall which was in what’s now Church Square and was destroyed by fire five years before.

Councillor Anthony Burns, cabinet member for wellbeing, culture, and heritage, says:

 “St Helens is built on heritage and has been at the forefront of significant moments throughout British history, from the birthplace of the railway and first modern canal to innovators in glass and pharmaceuticals (and, of course, home to one of the most successful rugby league teams in the world!).

“It’s absolutely right these achievements should be celebrated and it’s exciting to give St Helens Town Hall the recognition it deserves; a stunning work of art in terms of its structure which symbolises local democracy.”

The heritage plaque trail is being created by St Helens Borough Council in partnership with the town’s Rotary Club.

The first plaque was launched in October 2022 at the ‘Hotties’, a section of Sankey Canal, England’s first canal of the Industrial Revolution which opened in 1757 to carry coal.

St Helens Rugby Football Club became the second destination on the heritage trail with a plaque at the Totally Wicked Stadium as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations. Other plaques have been, or are due to be installed, at The Gamble Building, Beecham Building, Central Station, Parish Church, Quaker Meeting House, Cannington Shaw, St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway, and in the middle of the town centre where heritage and culture will play a huge part in its regeneration plans.

Paul Winstanley, joint heritage trail project lead for Rotary St Helens, which celebrates 100 years this year and has been recognised with a King’s Award for Voluntary Services, adds:

“The purpose of the St Helens Heritage Trail is to increase the community’s awareness of how St Helens became a unique, pioneering and world-leading industrial town on the world stage, it will take people on a journey of discovery finding out about the origins of how St Helens got its name and why this special town grew during the industrial revolution.

“It will stir up a sense of identity, and it can also benefit our local economy by attracting more visitors, and complement the development of our new town centre over the next few years.”

St Helens Quaker Meeting House

You can follow the first part of the trail now: here’s the heritage sites with active QR Codes


Find out more about England’s first industrial canal and why this stretch was called the ‘Hotties’. And says Paul: “You can check out whether it’s true or false that flesh eating fish lived in the canal along this stretch.”

Vera Page Park, Lyon’s Yard:

Find out how Vera Page Park got its name and be transported back in time to Lyon’s Yard where the Sankey Canal met the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway – an international freight transport hub. “In its time it was the most advanced transport system in the world with historians calling it the transport revolution.”

Cannington Shaw No7 Bottle Shop:

See the remains of the world’s biggest bottle plant ‘and be amazed by the original size of the factory. 

Totally Wicked Stadium home of Saints RFC:

Go back to before the stadium was built to find out the origins of ‘Saints’.

Friends Meeting House:

Visit the oldest habitable building in the centre of St Helens; standing in the area once known as Hardshaw, the Grade II listed building was most likely the ‘original’ Hardshaw Hall.

Town Hall:

Find out why this, the second Town Hall, was built and how the surrounding buildings came into being. 

Parish Church:

Go back in time to where it all began with the very first chapel when the area was just fields, and take a journey through time to find out how St Helens got its name.

Find out more information about the St Helens Heritage Trail here.

Find all the latest Liverpool news here.



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