Birkenhead a municipal and parliamentary borough and market town of Cheshire, on the left bank of the Mersey, opposite to Liverpool, with which it is connected by steam ferries and a floating bridge. From a fishing village in 1821 it has become a very large and thriving manufacturing town. The first dock was opened in 1847, and now the area of the basins is 170 acres, and the quay accommodation amounts to over 10 miles. Immense ship-building establishments have been created here - notably that of Messrs. Laird - and the largest iron vessels afloat are turned out from these yards. Other castings and forgings are executed on a large scale. A considerable general trade is also carried on in coal, guano, grain, etc. The town possesses a fine park and handsome public buildings, among them being the industrial schools raised in memory of Prince Albert. The Great Western and London and North-Western Railways have stations here. St. Aidan's theological college (Anglican) is in the suburbs.