What do you know about one of Birkenhead’s landmark churches?
St Mary’s Church Birkenhead is about to celebrate the 200th anniversary of its foundation stone being laid on 26 July 1819 – but, where is the stone and where is the time capsule buried at the same time?
Mystery surrounds the exact site of the stone as well as the time capsule which is believed to contain some coins from the era so, as part of the anniversary celebrations anyone with inside knowledge is being sought!
Located in the grounds of Birkenhead Priory and nestling next to Cammell Lairds, St Mary’s Church tower is a landmark on the waterfront and for miles inland too.
Now Tony Hughes of Bebington is leading the planning for a series of events to mark the special anniversary and is seeking information not just about the location of the foundation stone and capsule but also information and memories about the church itself.
Tony said: “My grandfather Thomas Jones was the caretaker of St Mary’s so as child I attended services there and have fond memories of running around the grounds and generally thinking I was helping him do his job but probably I was causing more work for him!
“Now, as a volunteer guide at Birkenhead Priory I am back on my old stamping ground and almost every week visitors to the Priory tell me tales about St Mary’s Church too.
“People have been kind enough to bring in marriage certificates of relatives married at the church and photographs of various services and church celebrations.
“But now I want more memories, more photographs and more information from people so that in July this year we can have an exhibition of St Mary’s 200 years to go alongside other events planned including a special open air service on what remains of the footprint of the church itself.”
Built to provide a place of worship for Birkenhead’s booming population in the nineteenth century, St Mary’s contains the first cast iron windows to have been made for a church in England. They are now Grade One listed and stand proudly either side of the church tower itself.
To contact Tony Hughes with information about St Mary’s please contact him on: 0151 608 8152 or by email via Birkenhead Priory: email@example.com
Alternatively information and artefacts can be dropped off at Birkenhead Priory. We are open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 1pm – 5pm or Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 5pm.