Tourist Information in Merseyside
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St. Helens Town Information

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This busy industrial town played a pivotal role in British history when England’s first true canal, the Sankey Brook Navigation, was built here in the mid-18th century to take coal to Liverpool. A key point in the Industrial Revolution, it led to a craze for purpose-built waterways.

In 1829 St Helen’s achieved another triumph when the world’s first locomotive, Stephenson's ‘Rocket’, was put through a series of trials at nearby Rainhill and gave birth to the railway age.
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Sankey Canal - Photo © Andy
Sankey Canal - Photo: Andy CCL

The World of Glass Museum - Photo © Sue Adair
The World of Glass Museum -
Photo: Sue Adair CCL

Despite these historic records, St Helens is best known for the manufacture of glass. Its fascinating ‘World of Glass’ museum has in recent years become a top visitor attraction, tracing the history of glass and offering glass-blowing demonstrations, multi-media shows and exhibitions.

The town’s name was derived from the dedication of a local church to St Helena, the mother of Constantine. During the Middle Ages it was believed she found the cross on which Christ had been crucified. Local people are known variously as "Sintelleners" and "Woollybacks".