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#632799 - 4th Dec 2011 8:36pm Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory
Softy_Southerner Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 2nd May 2008
Posts: 4090
Loc: Back in Devon
Birkenhead Priory – Merseyside’s oldest building – is to get a three-quarters-of-a-million pound facelift to stabilise and improve the complex.

The operation will include work on St Mary’s tower and spire, within the grounds of the priory.

The rest of the church – the first in Birkenhead – was demolished in the 1970s.

Almost £615,000 will be spent on building works which include repairing pinnacles on St Mary’s tower, lime-rendering exposed bare brickwork and repairs to cast-iron and wrought-iron window frames and tracery.

Structural repairs will be carried out to the priory’s North Range and a new covered staircase and lift will be built.

Medieval paving stones will be re-laid in the cloister and drainage will be improved. Repairs will be carried out to boundary and internal walls; redundant metalwork and railings will be removed and replaced with new railings and gates where appropriate.

A new store will be built to house medieval artefacts, gravestones and tombs. Landscaping features will also be enhanced.

The remainder of the cash will be taken up by departmental charges, survey and feasibility costs and archaeological investigations.

Facelift proposals were recommended in a conservation management plan shared by Wirral Council with the Diocese of Chester.

A bid for Heritage Lottery funding has been made in relation to improved visitor facilities at the priory’s West Range and improved interpretation measures across the site.

The council’s cabinet meet on Thursday to appoint a “preferred constructor” for the project.

Sections of the priory will be closed for some weeks while work is carried out but no extended closure of the entire site is anticipated.

Founded in 1150 the Benedictine monastery in the oldest building on Merseyside. Its remains are a grade 1 listed building and a scheduled ancient monument.

In 1318, monks from the priory were granted ferry rights by Edward II. The priory’s chapter house is consecrated as an Anglican church and is still used for services.

St Mary’s tower is dedicated as a memorial to the 99 men lost in the 1939 disaster aboard the Cammell Laird’s-built submarine HMS Thetis.

The churchyard contains the burial vault of the Laird family and includes the remains of John Laird (1805-74) Birkenhead’s fist MP and co-founder of the adjacent Cammell Laird shipbuilding company.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/9399159.Major_repair_scheme_planned_for_Birkenhead_Priory/

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#632806 - 4th Dec 2011 8:48pm Re: Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory [Re: Softy_Southerner]
rocks Offline

Wiki Guide

Registered: 2nd Apr 2011
Posts: 6629
Loc: 3/4 of the way there....
fantastic News smile
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The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

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#632855 - 4th Dec 2011 10:59pm Re: Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory [Re: Softy_Southerner]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13649
Loc: Wirral
That is wonderful News. I love the Priory, it's like stepping into a different world. What I found rather sad was apparently all the childrens graves were dug up when Cammell Lairds did some work or extended. I was told that the gravestones are laid at the back of Landican cemetery behind the Chapels. Can anyone confirm this?
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#632857 - 4th Dec 2011 11:00pm Re: Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory [Re: Softy_Southerner]
littlestan Offline
Member

Registered: 16th Mar 2009
Posts: 91
Loc: birkenhead
This is a very strange time for this report to appear. I presume that "The Globe"
has just printed a " Press Release" from Wirral Borough Council without checking
it out any further. The truth is that Birkenhead Priory has been neglected for the last 20 years by W.B.C. The former car-park has been used as a dump for
odd bits of stone and metal from various locations around the Borough. Some
poor quality repair works have been carried out which have NOT been up to
the standard normally accepted by English Heritage. Some Local Historians wrote
to E.H. expressing concerns. They have now insisted that W.B.C. produce a proper
management plan and put right some of the mistakes of the past. The site has
only been open at weekends for about a year/ 18 mths. now. Money has been
spent on reports from outside consultants-2 seperate & costly rounds of these !
Finally, the report in Globe says that a bid has been made for Heritage Lottery
Funding . I would like to know who has made such a bid? Local Authorities are
not normally allowed to make H.L.F. bids so what Wirral organisation or charity
has been used to make such an application? Please answer here if you know !!

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#632860 - 4th Dec 2011 11:02pm Re: Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory [Re: Softy_Southerner]
Greenwood Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 20th May 2011
Posts: 591
Loc: Greasby
Great News about the Priory - it's a real gem, and I'm glad it's going to get a good polishing. I still pine for a medieval herb garden, though! As for Landican, I know there's an old section at the back, somewhat overgrown, but don't know any details. They might know in the office there.

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#632868 - 4th Dec 2011 11:08pm Re: Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory [Re: Greenwood]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13649
Loc: Wirral
I will pop along to Landican this week sometime to see what I can find out.
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#632977 - 5th Dec 2011 10:59am Re: Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory [Re: granny]
OxtonHill Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 2nd Jun 2009
Posts: 311
Loc: Oxton
You can find out all about the graves & graveyard of St. Mary's and the Priory at

http://stmarysbirkenhead.blogspot.com/

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#633205 - 5th Dec 2011 7:29pm Re: Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory [Re: OxtonHill]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13649
Loc: Wirral
That's brilliant, thanks OxtonHill.
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#633413 - 6th Dec 2011 10:29am Re: Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory [Re: granny]
2005wireman Offline
Addict

Registered: 13th Jan 2011
Posts: 255
Loc: Warrington
Good News about the plans for Birkenhead Priory.This should be made a place where oversea and local people can visit and see and learn about the History of the priory.


Edited by 2005wireman (6th Dec 2011 10:30am)

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#634884 - 9th Dec 2011 10:24am Re: Major repair scheme planned for Birkenhead Priory [Re: Softy_Southerner]
SoundLad Offline

Are you SoNutz?
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Aug 2007
Posts: 2987
Loc: Birkenhead, United Kingdom
About bloody time.. This place was my hang out. I love the place.. Its just so atmospheric.. This is fantastic News.. thumbsup
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