Ravenhead is an area of St Helens in the North West of England. It is bordered by Thatto Heath, Sutton, Eccleston and the Town Centre. The area is thought to take its name from a farm once located nearby (Ravenhead Farm), while the 'head' portion of the name represents its location at one of the higher points of the town. In this respect, Ravenhead joins other local placenames such as Burtonhead, Micklehead and Eltonhead.
Shops in the main residential area of Ravenhead are limited to a newsagent (Ravenhead), computer repair store (Thatto Heath) and a Spar local store (Toll-Bar). There is also a laundry (business not for individual use) and a 'Fives Football Centre' (closed down), opened by BBC television pundit and former England footballer Alan Shearer.
St. John's Centre operates out of St. John's Parish Church (or Ravenhead Church as locals call it) and runs various community activities. Alexandra Court is a residential housing care home, run by Arena Options Ltd for the over 65s.
Ravenhead Retail Park
The Ravenhead Retail Park, to the north of Ravenhead near the Town Centre, is an out of town shopping area featuring a number of high-street outlets. Amongst these are B&Q and CurrysPCWorld, both of which at the time of building were the largest of the chain's stores in the country. Since the initial build, the retail park has been extended and now includes stores such as Bath Store, Pets At Home and Boots Pharmacy. It is rated amongst the top 20 retail parks in the country.
The presence of the retail park means Ravenhead boasts popular food outlets such as Burger King, Frankie and Bennys, Subway and a nearby McDonald's.
Religion & the ecclesiastical parish
The Ecclesiastical Parish of Ravenhead is a Church of England parish, formed on 19 August 1870 by Order of Council. Though there have been some subsequent boundary changes to the parish, it still encompasses some of the neighbouring areas of Thatto Heath, Sutton Heath and Nutgrove.
Ravenhead is served by the Church of England parish church of St. John the Evangelist. St. Johns has a smaller, sister church, Emmanuel in neighbouring Thatto Heath. The church is also the home to St. John's Centre - a community outreach project which hosts youth activities, community lunches and various other organised events.
The church is part of the Eccleston Team, which partners St. John's & Emmanuel with St. Matthew, Thatto Heath; St. Luke, Eccleston; St. James, Eccleston and Christ Church, Eccleston. This means the benefice that the churches fall within are significantly wider than the parish boundary.
Ravenhead played a significant part in the development of St Helens' glass industry, as the base for Pilkington's Head Office. and the Ravenhead Glass factory. Ravenhead Glass has since closed down, indicative of the decline in the glass industry in the town. Pilkington's Head Office remains, but the company is now owned by Asahi Glass and areas of the building are used by various companies, including Helena Housing.
Formerly Ravenhead was home to Ravenhead Coal Mine. It along with numerous small pits were served by private rail lines running off from the main branch line of the Liverpool line, feeding down to the canal and direct to the city centre.
References & external sources
- "Football Hero Alan Shearer Launches £2m Indoor Sports Centre". The St. Helens Star. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Care Quality Commission Random Inspection Report" (PDF). Care Quality Commission. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Ravenhead Retail Park". Ravenhead Retail Park. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "St. Helens Tourism & Visitor Strategy (PDF) - Page 11, Item 7" (PDF). St. Helens Council. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Ravenhead Retail Park". St. Helens - The Heart Of The North West. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "The London Gazette, August 19th 1870 (PDF)". The London Gazette. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "St. Johns Church, Ravenhead". St. Johns Church, Ravenhead. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Emmanuel Church, Thatto Heath". St. Johns Church, Ravenhead. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "St. Johns Community Centre, St. Helens". St. Johns Church, Ravenhead. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Church of England Eccleston Team". St. Johns Church, Ravenhead. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "myStHelens.org". St. Helens Council. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Pilkington In The UK". Pilkington. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "The World Of Glass". The World Of Glass. Retrieved 7 May 2011.