Birkenhead Priory

If you wish to get a unique insight into the history of Merseyside, you may want to consider visiting Birkenhead Priory and St. Mary’s Tower.

The Priory is the oldest standing building in Merseyside, dating back to around 1150. It was founded by a Benedictine Order of monks, and enjoyed royal support because of its strategic location close to the Irish Sea and the Welsh Border. During the medieval era, the monks were also given the control rights to run a ferry across the Mersey to Liverpool. The same ferry route is now considered to be one of the most iconic ferry crossings in the United Kingdom.

At present, the site stands as a wonderful juxtaposition between the old and the new. Due to continued development, the priory is surrounded by shipyards and other signs of Merseyside’s industrial heritage. Nonetheless, the priory and its grounds are still a real place of tranquillity for visitors. The site of the Priory itself houses various different chapels and areas of consecrated ground, including a chapel dedicated to those who died aboard the HMS Conway. Visitors are also able to see a number of Norman artefacts. Many of the buildings on site are registered as listed buildings.

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