Facing Liverpool over the
Mersey, and linked to it by the Mersey Tunnel,
Birkenhead sits on the Wirral peninsula and is
associated with the famous song ‘Ferry Across the
The suburb consisted mostly of
farms until a steam ferry joined the town to its
big brother in 1820, providing an opportunity for
the area to turn its hand to ship building.
Some of Britain’s biggest ships – including the Ark Royal aircraft carrier and two nuclear submarines - were built here.
They very first ferry here was operated in the 12th century by Benedictine monks at the Birchen Head priory.
The town was the site of
Britain's first publicly funded park in 1834 and
was the birthplace of Europe's first horse-drawn
street-tram system, which was later electrified.
It was the brainchild of the American tycoon George Francis Train, the possible inspiration for the heroic ‘Phileas Fogg’ in Jules Verne's novel ‘Around the World in 80 Days’.