Birkenhead Priory, said to be the oldest building still standing in Merseyside (it was built in about 1150) and the 42.6m tall Grade II listed St Mary’s Tower, which is all that remains of Birkenhead’s first parish church, are off the English Heritage At Risk register and open to the public again.
The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, containing a museum and an active place of worship. For 14 months it has been closed while it underwent a £750,000 facelift, including substantial renovation work on its red sandstone by Merseyside stone specialists Stone Central (NW), subcontracting for Paragon Construction. Wirral Council was the client partnered by Alf Plant from Ainsley Gommon Architects.
The work included repairs to St Mary’s Tower, which had suffered badly in the past few particularly punishing winters.
Part of the stonework that had become unstable has now been replaced using St Bees red sandstone from Cumbria and other parts of the historic building have been repaired. The back of St Mary’s has been completely rendered and the cast iron window traceries refurbished and repainted.