Birkenhead Priory

Birkenhead Priory InteriorOpening Hours:


Wednesday to Friday 1 - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm


Wednesday to Friday 12 noon to 4pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 4pm

Admission is free.

How to find us


Follow signs for Birkenhead Town Centre - head for Woodside and follow the Brown Tourist signs for Birkenhead Priory.

Nearest Railway Station: Hamilton Square

Public transport to this location


About Birkenhead

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

Founded in 1150, this Benedictine monastery is the oldest standing building on Merseyside but it is surrounded by modern Birkenhead, factory units and a ship yard. The whole history of the town is wrapped up in one place.

Far from being an isolated place of retreat, the monks of Birkenhead Priory looked after travellers for nearly 400 years and supervised the first regulated 'Ferry 'cross the Mersey', up to the Dissolution in 1538.

First restored over a century ago, the site continues to develop with museum displays and an education/ meeting/concert space.

St Mary's, the first parish church of the town, survives now as only a tower and spire, having been demolished in the 1970’s.

This late-Georgian church ruin, with cast iron tracery in the surviving windows, is available to climb the 101 stairs to give unrivalled views across the River Mersey.

The tower is now dedicated as a memorial to the 99 men lost in the 1939 disaster aboard the Laird's built submarine HMS Thetis.

The Chapter House is consecrated as an Anglican church and there is above a chapel dedicated to the training ship HMS Conway which formerly stood in the River Mersey off Rock Ferry.

A small museum tells the story of the site and the buildings as you see them today.

Venue Details

Due to the nature and location of this site, there is uneven but level access around most of the grounds. Stairs render some parts of the site unavailable to all visitors.

There are toilets and an accessible toilet available.

Running water is confined to St Mary’s Tower.