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“Beautiful oasis in Birkenhead”
Review of Birkenhead Priory

Birkenhead Priory
Ranked #4 of 36 things to do in Birkenhead
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Birkenhead Priory is a unique family outing – experience the history, wonder and beauty of this 850 year old site. As the oldest standing building on Merseyside, the Priory offers a unique insight into the town of Birkenhead and its historical and spiritual importance in the development of Wirral. 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. The Chapter House is consecrated as a Church of England chapel hosts regular church services as well as Baptisms, Weddings and Funeral. The Scriptorium is the home of the Friends of HMS Conway. The Conway was a training ship which formerly stood in the River Mersey off Rock Ferry. The Undercroft houses a small museum tells that the story of the medieval Priory. Above the Undercroft is the Refectory, now covered with an award winning roof. Today visit the refectory to dress up or complete some grave rubbings. St Mary's, the first parish church of Birkenehead (1821), 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.
Useful Information: Stairs / lift, Activities for young children
Reviewed 6 April 2018

Walked 10 mins from Hamilton Sq station and arrived 40 mins before closing. However, we were made to feel very welcome and the visit was well worth it. A beautiful day with wonderful views of the Liverpool skyline from the top of St Mary’s Tower. The sense of history and the shipyard next door were quite stunning. Coupled with a nice walk after, along the Mersey walkway, it made for a lovely sunny trip to Birkenhead.

Thank Bonnie34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abscraft, Public Relations Manager at Birkenhead Priory, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Many thanks for your review, do come again. Just to let you know due to staff illness and staff shortage the decision has been made to close Birkenhead Priory for this weekend only.

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Write a ReviewReviews (183)
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"oldest building"
in 8 reviews
"hidden gem"
in 21 reviews
"industrial estate"
in 6 reviews
"bell tower"
in 4 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 20 reviews
"ship yard"
in 4 reviews
"st marys church"
in 4 reviews
"liverpool skyline"
in 6 reviews
"across the river"
in 7 reviews
"worth the climb"
in 3 reviews
"tucked away"
in 7 reviews
"volunteer guides"
in 2 reviews
"english heritage"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful chapel"
in 2 reviews
"vantage point"
in 2 reviews
"great piece of history"
in 2 reviews
"easily accessible by car"
in 2 reviews
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9 - 13 of 183 reviews

Reviewed 26 March 2018

not easy to find but worth it when you get here the tower is well worth the climb and the priory is very intresting made more so by the helpfull and knowledgeable voluntires

Thank mumblabey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abscraft, Public Relations Manager at Birkenhead Priory, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2018

Thank you for your review... we hope you visit again.

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Reviewed 14 March 2018

came here when visiting our daughter who lives locally ,she couldnt understand why I wanted to visit a sthe area around the priory is a bit run down ,however persuaded her to take us there and we werent disappointed,lovely old ruin with a story to tell ,we climbed the steps up the tower and were rewarded with fab views of the city of Liverpool and nearby ship building yards,the place is free but they welcome a donation to the preservation of this place.

1  Thank ozzy515
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abscraft, Public Relations Manager at Birkenhead Priory, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2018

Thank you for your review and glad you had a rewarding visit.

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Reviewed 26 February 2018

Lived here all my life and never visited the Priory. Hidden gem! The volunteers were wonderfully helpful, the gave loads of information and encouraged us to explore. Lots of activities for children and nice to see children being so welcomed (dressing up, colouring, trails etc). Love the memorial for the HMS Thetis up the 101 stairs to the tower. Loved the view over the Mersey and wonderful to see what is in Cammel Lairds after all these years of just seeing the gates and exterior. Would love to see a little cafe here but probably not practical given that it is volunteer run. Great to see picnics encouraged. Very welcoming, we will be back and have told everyone we know about our lovely FREE visit.

Thank dollydaydream84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abscraft, Public Relations Manager at Birkenhead Priory, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2018

So glad you enjoyed yourself and yes, it is a lovely place for a picnic so do come back. The site is run by the Wirral Museums Service with excellent support by the Priory volunteers. The involvement of the team is invaluable and they add so much to the place, bringing their own particular interests to their tours - I always recommend going round with one guide and go back to get a different volunteer who will tell you some new nugget of information about the history of the place. The main reason there is no cafe there, which would be lovely is that due to the historic and sensitive nature of the site, it is a "no dig" area so apart from the water in the sinks in toilets at the base of St Mary's Tower, there is no water on site.

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Reviewed 12 February 2018 via mobile

First visit for many years. Loads to see. Not just about the priory itself. The volunteer on duty really knew his stuff & always on hand to answer questions. Couldn’t be more helpful. You have to ask for the Scriptorium to be unlocked, but what a gem. Crammed full of info about HMS Conway. Very cold the day we were there, but worth the trip up St Mary’s tower. Will be back again on a clear day. Great views

Thank Helelpen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abscraft, Public Relations Manager at Birkenhead Priory, responded to this reviewResponded 13 February 2018

Thank you for your great review. The Scriptorium is a fabulous haven and so beautiful to look out of the window to Cammell Lairds.

The volunteers are a great addition to the staff on site.

Do come again.

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