As the population of Birkenhead began to grow at the start of the 19th century it became desirable for the town to have its own parish church. The Priory grounds were still fairly open but some hotels and houses were beginning to be built nearby. It may be because this was already a religious site that it was chosen for St Mary’s, designed by Thomas Rickman one of the leading church architects of his day, which opened in 1822. Ten years later, the population of the town now more than 3000, it was extended. Rickman used new ideas in the building – cast iron was used for the window frames, one of the first in the country to do so.
This church served the growing town of Birkenhead for 150 years, supplemented over time by more and more churches, but by the 1970’s it was in need of repair and the congregation had dwindled as people moved away from the centre of town. St Mary’s was closed and mostly demolished in 1975 but the tower and spire were left as a landmark following a campaign by local people.