County Borough of Southend-on-Sea

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Southend (1866–1893)
 • 1961 165,093
 • Created 1866
 • Abolished 1974
 • Succeeded by Southend-on-Sea District
Status Local government district (1866–1892)
Municipal borough (1892–1914)
Urban sanitary district (1875–1894)
Civil parish (1913–1974)
County borough (1914–1974)
Government Southend Local Board (1866–1892)
Southend Corporation (1892–1974)
 • Motto Per Mare Per Ecclesiam (By Sea, By Church)
Coat of arms
Coat of arms granted in 1915

Southend-on-Sea was a local government district from 1866 to 1974 around the seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England.


Southend adopted the Local Government Act 1858 and a local board was established in 1866. It became an urban sanitary district in 1875. It was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1892. The name was changed from Southend to Southend-on-Sea in 1893.[1] It gained the status of county borough in 1914.


The local government district originally consisted of the South End of the parish of Prittlewell. This became a separate parish of St John the Baptist for ecclesiastical purposes in 1842. In 1877 the local government district was expanded to include the parish of Prittlewell, including the settlements of Westcliff and Chalkwell.

The parish of Southchurch was absorbed by the borough of Southend-on-Sea on 1 November 1897.[2]

In 1913 the borough was expanded by gaining the former area of Leigh-on-Sea Urban District, consisting of the parish of Leigh. The civil parishes within the borough were combined to form a single parish of Southend-on Sea.

In 1933 the borough was expanded by gaining territory of Rochford Rural District consisting of parts of the parishes of Eastwood, Great Wakering, North Shoebury and Shopland.[3] At the same time, the former area of Shoeburyness Urban District, consisting of the parish of South Shoebury was gained.[4]


The local board took over Southend Pier. The borough had tram, trolleybus and bus undertakings that were operated by Southend Corporation Transport.