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The history of Birkenhead goes back beyond Victorian years. 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'. 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.