A HERITAGE plaque was unveiled offering people the chance to learn more about one of St Helens' most historic buildings.

The town's fourth Heritage Trail plaque was unveiled at the Friends Meeting House, on George Street, by deputy mayor Lynn Clark and Rotary St Helens president Simon Hairsnape. 

The St Helens Historical Society provided refreshments and displays showing the history of the town. 

About the Friends Meeting House

The Friends Meeting House is certainly by far the oldest building in the centre of St Helens and is Grade II Listed.

It ha stood in the area known as Hardshaw long before St Helens' unification came about. It was most likely the ‘original’ Hardshaw Hall. Sadly, the date when this house was built is unknown.

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There is however the record of Sir Thomas Gerard of Bryn selling it, and two more plots of land, to John Tarbock of Windle in 1593. This was just five years after the famous English naval victory over the Spanish Armada.

Almost two centuries would pass before the thinly-populated rural landscape in which the house stood would change as industrialisation began to spread.

The meeting house, a domestic building adapted for Quaker use, which retains several historic features.

The building is used by the local community as well as for worship.

The Quaker Garden is appreciated by visitors who may not be users of the building.

St Helens Star: The unveiling event saw many of the attendees make their first visit inside the Friends Meeting HouseThe unveiling event saw many of the attendees make their first visit inside the Friends Meeting House (Image: Submitted)

In attendance at the unveiling was Deputy Lord Lieutenant Anne Morris; Cllr Andy Bowden; Rotary assistant governors Gwyneth Millard and Swati Mukherjee; Rotarians; Friends of Rotary, St Helens Historical Society plus many other guests. 

For most, it was the first time that they had been in the Friends Meeting House. 

St Helens Star: The unveiling took place at the Friends Meeting HouseThe unveiling took place at the Friends Meeting House (Image: Submitted)

How to find out more

The plaque contains a QR code to enable people to learn more about the Friends Meeting House.

To find out more about the history of the building, the Quaker Religion, the Railway Station that used to be opposite the building and its link to Quaker Oats people can visit the Friends Meeting House and scan the QR code, which is located on the railings outside the building.   

People can also visit the three other sites which have so far had plaques installed at the 'Hotties' next to the World of Glass, Totally Wicked Stadium and the Parish Church in the town centre.