The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"ST. HELEN'S, a large market and manufacturing town in the townships of Windle_and_Sutton, Eccleston_and_Parry, and the parish of Prescot, hundred of West Derby, county Lancaster, 3 miles N.E. of Prescot, and 48 S. of Lancaster. It is a station on the London and North-Western railway, the St. Helen's junction being about 2 miles from the town; there is also water communication by the Sankey Brook canal. The town, which is one of large and increasing commerce, is very irregularly built, and covers a large extent of ground, being entirely of modern date. The market-place forms a square in the centre of the town, and on one side stands the townhall, a modern building. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the neighbouring collieries and in the extensive glass manufactories, that at Ravenhead, in the township of Sutton, being the largest plate glass manufactory in the world. There are also potteries, breweries, and extensive chemical works. In 1830 extensive works for smelting copper were established by the Bolivar Mining Association, and similar works were subsequently erected by the British and Foreign Copper Company. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Chester, value £450, in the patronage of trustees. There are three churches, two Roman Catholic chapels, and chapels belonging to the Independents and Methodists, and a school with an ample endowment founded by Mrs. Cowley. Market day is Saturday. Fairs are held on Monday and Tuesday after Easter week, and Friday and Saturday after the 8th September.