This building is not easy to interpret and decide exactly how it would have looked when Birkenhead Priory was active. It was built in the late 13th century – probably due to a rise in passing travellers to Liverpool, which had powers to run a market after 1207. Right at the top of the outside wall is a series of carved flower heads interspersed with a set of faces, many grinning or scowling.
This was the part of the Priory which accommodated visitors travelling through Birkenhead. The main door let through a corridor to a space with two large windows that would have gone the full height of the building and with a large fireplace at one end. A carved stone bearded man’s head represents one end of that fireplace and is the only carved decoration left at this level.
The other end of the building would have had the Monks’ Parlour on the ground floor. One window looks out at the place where the church’s front door would have been, another would have been the place for handing out alms (charitable donations to the poor). On the first floor, the Prior’s Lodgings were a little more spacious and in the corner is his private door into the church.