Birkenhead Priory was founded in 1150 by Hamon de Masci, 3rd Baron of Dunham Massey as a monastery for Benedictine monks. In addition to providing a haven for travellers in the area and caring for the sick, the monks provided the very first regulated ferry 'cross the Mersey after Edward II granted them ferry rights in 1318. This service continued right up to the dissolution in 1538. The priory is Merseyside's oldest standing building.