The rights granted to the monks of Birkenhead Priory to run a ferry across the Mersey reverted to the Crown in 1536, upon the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII. After that, numerous ferry services operated under private ownership by local landowners, including at Woodside. The 18th century witnessed an increase in stage coach traffic from Chester and beyond which triggered the need to carry passengers and goods across the river. Birkenhead expanded rapidly in the late Georgian era, and the operation at Woodside followed suit. By 1842, the ferry service had been taken over by the Birkenhead Commissioners and this was followed by more extensive rebuilding and land reclamation.