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St Helens

St Helens Lying on the high ground to the north of Bembridge, St Helens has good views over the busy harbour. It is a small village with fine greens on which cricket is played during the summer and football in the winter.

A short walk from the village to the sea leads to the open grassy dunes at the mouth of the harbour where there is a pleasant sheltered beach.

The origins of St. Helens seems to revolve around the 12th century Cluniac Priory and the church, built by the monks and administered by them, until it was claimed by the crown in 1414. The Church eventually became unsafe due to the rising sea, and a new Church was built further inland, because in 1720 a great wave destroyed the old Church but the tower still stands to this day, as a landmark.

St. Helens must have been quite a considerable port in the 1300's, but with the expansion of Cowes it declined in importance, although ships still called there, as a local spring was famous for its excellent keeping qualities.

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