At U-boat Story, you will be able to look into the U-boat, now in four sections with glass viewing partitions, view its amazing interior and discover many well preserved artefacts. U-boat Story is a fascinating look back into history. Guided tours are available at 2pm daily.
Through the exhibition's interactive and audio-visual exhibits you will gain a unique insight into life on board a submarine during wartime, and the enduring mystery of U-534.
U-534 was heading north towards Norway, when it was attacked by a Liberator aircraft from RAF 547 Squadron which dropped depth charges. U-534 took heavy damage and began to sink by the stern. Amazingly forty-nine of the fifty-two crew members survived, including five who escaped via a torpedo hatch. The stricken vessel lay forgotten on the sea bed for over 40 years.
In August 1993 the wreckage was raised from the seabed in the hope of finding hidden treasure on board. Nothing was found. However, the mystery of why U-534 refused to surrender remains to this day.
The oldest standing building on Merseyside, Birkenhead Priory encapsulates so much of the town's history within a small, enclosed site. Founded in 1150, the monks of this Benedictine monastery looked after travellers for nearly 400 years and supervised the first regulated 'Ferry 'cross the Mersey'.
Touch the ancient sandstone walls, then look up at the towering cranes of the old Cammell Laird shipyard next door.
The tower of St Mary's, the first parish church of the town, shares the site which is now dedicated as a memorial to those lost in the 1939 disaster aboard the Laird's built submarine Thetis. The chapter house is consecrated as an Anglican church and there is a chapel dedicated to the training ship HMS Conway. A small museum tells the story of the site and the buildings as you see them today.
Now surrounded by factory units and shipyards, the Priory is an oasis of calm in a busy world and affords unrivalled views of the river and surrounding area. A wide variety of events, from wedding receptions to educational conferences, classic music concerts and open-air theatre, to re-enactments of life in Viking times, take place here.
Woodside ferry terminal is where you can catch the famous ferry over the Mersey to Liverpool. However, this area is also worth investigating.
Work is underway at the moment on a U-534 submarine which is going to become a new visitor attraction at the terminal.
The submarine has been split in to four sections to allow visitors to take a look inside. Equally interesting was the task of moving the 900 tonne vessel to its new home! A video is available at: http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2008/03/11/nazi-u-boat-sails-to-final-resting-place-in-wirral-64375-20602463/
The sub is due to open in September 2008.
Woodside ferry terminal already houses a cafeteria, shop, tourist information centre and a small transport memorabilia collection.
To the left of the terminal is a footpath which follows the waters edge round and offers some good views over to Liverpool.
The old One O' Clock gun is near the end of the path at Morpeth Dock. The gun was fired every day at 1pm between 1867 to 1969 so chronometers could be set on ships.
Designed by Joseph Paxton and opened on 5 April 1847, Birkenhead Park was the first civic public park in Britain.
The Grade I listed landscape with its Grade I listed buildings have recently been the subject of
of an £11.5 million renovation. Pathways have been improved, the lakes cleaned and new plants and trees planted. A new building resembling the monkey house at Chester Zoo has been built to house a cafe. The childrens play area has also been improved.
Various events take place in the park including 'bat walks', cricket practice, kite making and raft building.
The park has a road around its perimeter and also through the middle. One half is close the town centre, the other half being closer to Claughton Village.
See website link for a walking map
It difficult to look at your own town through the eyes of a tourist, so that is exactly what I did.
Park the car in town centre and just go see what the town has to offer.
It surprised me how I filled a day and still didn't see everything!!
I started off walking around the park then by passed the shopping centre towards Hamilton Square and on towards Woodside.
This isn't really a tip to promote Birkenhead, instead Im suggesting you go to the town you know best and treat it as you would a holiday destination. You will be surprised how interesting it is!!
One of many of Wirrals parks. A lovely place to spend a couple of hours. Plenty of places to walk and a kids play area.
Once used by the Vikings, the park holds an anual Viking festival with various displays etc
Shore Road Pumping Station at Woodside houses 'Grasshopper', a Victorian steam pumping engine, so called because of its shape and bright green colour. It is 50ft in
height, weighs 200 tons and is now operated by hydraulics.
Mersey Rail installed it in 1885 to pump water out of the tunnel under the river and it displaced 5,000 gallons
of water per hour. It was the first successful underwater tunnel in the world.
Here;s a pic from the inside of the bridge ...
The bridge is lifted by applying power to the main drive shaft in the machinery. This is turn operates a rack and pinion sysytem.
When the pinion turns the arms are drawn through the machine house to protrude out of the oppposite side. As the arms move they pull the ballast tank which turns through its arc at road level. As this happens the bridge is lifted to the required angle - up tp maximum of 87.5 degrees.
The Chapter House dates from 1150 when the Priory was founded, which makes it the oldest surviving building in Wirral and Merseyside, in addition to being the oldest Priory remains in England. Originally used as the Monks' meeting place, today, it is a Church. Regular services are held here including Weddings. The Altar level floor is made from gravestones, which include those of Thomas Rainford; who was a former Prior and Richard Parry-Price; one of the previous owners. The original stained glass window over the Altar was replaced by a Ninian Comper window during the 1913 restoration scheme and is dedicated t o Robert Sydney Marsden, the chairman of the Restoration Committee at that time. The roof is of quadripartite construction and is as strong as it is beautiful.
The Undercroft was traditionally used as a cellar, this particular example may have been used as a second dining room. Today, it houses the Priory's Exhibition Centre and pictured here is a stained glass display of how thre priory looked over the centuries.
The largest collection of 20th century fighting ship in the United Kingdom can be seen in Birkenhead. The collection includes the Falklands veterans, the frigate HMS Plymouth and the submarine HMS Onyx plus the Second World War landing craft tank LCT 7074. In addition there is the German U-boat U534 - raised from the seabed after 48 years. Tours on the sub open to adults only on organised pre-bookable tours - made by telephoning 0151 650 1573 between 4pm and 5pm on Mondays to Fridays and normal hours at weekends.
You really must admire the workings of the old pump - the two new electric ones are nothing to look at in comparison.
A wonderful example of victorian engineering.
The pump rod plunges 180 ft to the foot of a deep drainage shaft where it is connected to a force pump which could remove 15,925 litres of water per minute.
A 'Giant Grasshopper' engine, a steam pump used to clear water from the Mersey Rail Tunnels can be seen in this 4 storey house on Shore Road. A video presentation relates the construction of the Mersey tunnel, the Pump and the building. The guardian will alos give you a demonstration of the giant grasshopper in action too!
A small street scene from 1901 can also be explored at the end of the visit.
Easter to October, Sat & Sun 1pm - 5pm
November to Easter, Sat & Sun 12pm - 5pm
Although the largest collection in the UK it is quite a specialised colllection! here's the ships which can be see...and there are new additions planned for 2003.
The frigate HMS Plymouth and the Sub. Onyx both played important roles in the Falklands conflict.
There are several briges across the docks in birkenhead of interest. Egerton Bridge is a fine working example of a Bascule Bridge.
If you don't fear heights you can climb the iron stairway for a bird's eye view over Dockland.
The bridge houses models and information about the Birkenhead Dock system which opened in 1847. Admission is free again..you can have such varied sights in and around Birkenhead without having to fork out entrance fees...now isn't that great!
Easter to October, Sat & Sun 1pm - 5pm
November to Easter, Sat & Sun 12pm - 4pm