Birkenhead Priory


Wednesday - Friday 1 – 5pm
Saturday - Sunday 10am – 5pm
Wednesday - Friday 12 noon – 4pm
Saturday - Sunday 10am – 4pm

About this Museum

Birkenhead Priory’s Chapter House is one of the oldest standing buildings on Merseyside, dating to about 1150. The whole site comprises a mixture of Grade 1, Grade 2* and Grade 2 listed buildings and is a scheduled monument.

The recently refurbished museum in the Undercroft tells the story of the medieval Priory. The ruins of St Mary’s, the first parish church in Birkenhead, can be seen on the site, with stunning views of the Mersey from the tower.

This place has strong significance in the history of the Birkenhead area. Also on site is a museum devoted to HMS Conway, a Merchant Navy school ship moored on the Mersey until 1941. John Laird and various members of his family are buried on the site, and the Cammell Laird shipyard is right next door.

  • When Cammell Laird’s Princess dry dock was built in the 1950s, the entire churchyard of St Mary’s and half the foundations of the medieval church were cleared away to make space.
  • The monks of Birkenhead Priory were granted the right to run the Mersey ferry service by Royal Charter in 1318. They charged passengers for the ferry, and for food and accommodation, and were accused of excessive charging!


Priory Street
CH41 5JH



Free admission
Please phone in advance to arrange a group booking.



0151 652 4177

Visit info

Length of visit

1-2 hours


Lots of activities available for visitors including guided tours, dressing up, grave rubbings, and hunt the monk trails. Special events including craft fairs and guided tours throughout the year.

The Priory has an active volunteer programme.


The chapel is licensed for weddings. The site can host receptions, meetings, concerts and other events by arrangement.

A very small selection of items is available to buy.


Photography is permitted across the site.


An accessible toilet is available.

There is some uneven ground around the site, and some parts are only accessible by stairs.

Getting there
By car:

Priory car park (at the end of Church Street) is free for visitors. Bike racks are available.

By train:

Nearest station is Hamilton Square

By boat:

12 minute walk from Mersey Ferry terminal. Nearest mooring point is Telford’s Warehouse

Nearest Venues