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You are here: Things to Do > Search > Birkenhead Priory & St. Mary's Tower

Birkenhead Priory & St. Mary's Tower

Birkenhead Priory

Overview

The oldest standing building on Merseyside, Birkenhead Priory encapsulates so much of the town's history within a small, enclosed site. Founded in 1150, the monks of this Benedictine monastery looked after travellers for nearly 400 years and supervised the first regulated 'Ferry 'cross the Mersey'. Birkenhead Priory has received a Rics NorthWest Building Conservation Award.

Touch the ancient sandstone walls, then look up at the towering cranes of the old Cammell Laird shipyard next door.

The tower of St Mary's, the first parish church of the town, shares the site which is now dedicated as a memorial to those lost in the 1939 disaster aboard the Laird's built submarine Thetis. The chapter house is consecrated as an Anglican church and there is a chapel dedicated to the training ship HMS Conway. A small museum tells the story of the site and the buildings as you see them today.

Now surrounded by factory units and shipyards, the Priory is an oasis of calm in a busy world and affords unrivalled views of the river and surrounding area. A wide variety of events, from wedding receptions to educational conferences, classic music concerts and open-air theatre, to re-enactments of life in Viking times, take place here.

The steps of the tower of remains of St Mary’s Church, which shares the site,  is now dedicated as a memorial to lives lost in the 1939 disaster aboard the Laird's built submarine, Thetis. The chapter house is consecrated as as Anglican church and there is a chapel dedicated to the training ship HMS Conway. A small museum tells the story of the site and the buildings as you see them today. There is a small shop with craft work from local artisans. 

Accessibility - Uneven but level access around most of the site; stairs render some parts of the site unavailable to all visitors; accessible toilet available.

Admission FREE
Open Wednesday - Friday 1pm - 5pm (summer hours)
Wednesday - Friday 12pm - 4pm (winter hours)
Saturday & Sunday 10am - 5pm (summer hours)
Saturday & Sunday 10am - 4pm (winter hours)
Closed Monday & Tuesday, including Bank Holidays
* Winter hours begin when the clocks go back in the autumn*

Birkenhead Priory is managed by the Wirral Museums Service 0151 666 3537

Contact Details

Priory Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
Merseyside
CH41 5JH

Tel: 0151 666 3537

Opening Times

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)
DayTimes
MondayClosed*
TuesdayClosed*
WednesdayOpen
ThursdayOpen
FridayOpen
SaturdayOpen
SundayOpen
Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

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