The grounds at Birkenhead Priory include the oldest standing building in Merseyside, the Chapter House dating to about 1150. Up until 1536 this was a thriving small Benedictine monastery which managed estates covering most of what think of as central Birkenhead but also came to operate the ferry between Birkenhead and Liverpool, the legacy from which is still running today.
As the town grew in the 19th century the site was used for St Mary’s, the first parish church of the town, closed in the 1970s but the tower from which now offers magnificent views across the River Mersey. The Priory became increasingly hemmed in, especially when Laird’s shipyard arrived next door. Cammell Laird is still busy building and maintaining ships and the best way to view the ships and the work of the yard is from Birkenhead Priory.
Included is a small museum of the Priory’s history and a heritage centre for HMS Conway, the training ship that sat in the River Mersey for nearly a century preparing naval recruits for life at sea.
- Church tower vantage point for views
- 12th century chapter house
- maritime connections