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My Left Bank: Alice Duke

13/04/2023 | Alice Duke

We commissioned local artist Alice Duke to capture her favourite icon along the Left Bank.

Her choice: Birkenhead Priory, the oldest building on Merseyside.

“I went to the site of St Mary’s tower at Birkenhead’s 12th century priory, intending to create an illustration of the priory chapter house itself.

“I suppose I had some idea of contrasting the medieval monastery with the Cammell Laird shipyard next door.

“A vision of the Mersey across nearly 1000 years of continual habitation. From the monks collecting cockles in the estuary and operating their tiny ferry in Gawain’s “wyldrenesse of Wyrale” all the way to today’s industrial feats of engineering alongside. That kind of thing.

“But once I got there it was difficult not to be distracted by the velvety bricks of St Mary’s church, only 200 years old but already a picturesque ruin.

“It’s a beautiful building and a calming place to be, protected on all sides by warehouses and taprooms.

“There’s a brilliant view along the Left Bank if you climb the tower. But that was for another day.

“Even the herring gulls were relaxed while I was there. I didn’t even look at the Chapter House museum, just sat outside and enjoyed the crisp winter sun.”

See more of Alice’s work on her website

Find Alice Duke on Instagram


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