The name is derived from the mediaeval chapel of St. Elyn, in what was until the Industrial Revolution a largely rural area.
During the reign of Elizabeth I, the area became known for its ironstone quarries. The town grew considerably in the 19th century, with the Town Hall being completed in 1876.
The Pilkington glass company, with its headquarters in St. Helens, made a number of important innovations. "The Hotties" is the name given to the point where the company drew water from the canal and returned it as boiling water, creating permanent clouds of steam.
World of Glass is a modern museum and visitor centre making use of Pilkingtons premises.
The Friends Meeting House is a charming stone building with mullioned windows.
Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor, was born in St. Helens.
St. Helens has one of the country`s top Rugby League teams. They were one of the teams that defected from the Rugby Union in 1895.
Nearby, on the site of a colliery at Sutton Manor, is the enormous statue named Dream.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around St. Helens for groups.