Southend Central Museum

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Central Museum, Southend
Central Museum Southend.jpg
Central Museum, Southend
Southend Central Museum is located in Essex
Southend Central Museum
Museum location in Essex
Established1981
LocationSouthend-on-Sea, Essex
Coordinates51°32′32″N 0°42′38″E / 51.5422°N 0.7106°E / 51.5422; 0.7106Coordinates: 51°32′32″N 0°42′38″E / 51.5422°N 0.7106°E / 51.5422; 0.7106
TypeLocal history
Key holdingsPrittlewell Anglo-Saxon burial; The London shipwreck
CollectionsCostume, fine art, local history, natural history, archaeology
ArchitectHenry Thomas Hare
OwnerSouthend-on-Sea Borough Council
Public transit accessNational Rail Southend Victoria
Websitewww.southendmuseums.co.uk
A close up of the Central Museum, Southend

The Central Museum is a museum in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. The museum houses collections of local and natural history and contains a planetarium constructed by astronomer Harry Ford in 1984.[1]

The museum was opened in April 1981 in a Grade II listed building that was previously Southend's first free public library. The library service had moved to a new purpose built site on Victoria Avenue, which opened on 20 March 1974.[2]

The building[edit]

The Museum was originally built in 1905 as a free library, with £8000 of funding from Andrew Carnegie. The architect was Henry Thomas Hare.[3]

The collections[edit]

The Museum features a collection of original Ekco radios, manufactured by E.K. Cole & Co. Ltd. (or 'Ekco') formerly based in Southend. In the 1930s, this company was one of Britain's largest radio manufacturers.

The displays also include local and natural history and archaeology.[4]

In May 2019 a new gallery opened to display the archaeological finds from the Royal Saxon tomb in Prittlewell, an Anglo-Saxon burial mound in the suburb of Prittlewell that was discovered in 2003 as a result of a road-widening scheme. The excavations unearthed a number of Anglo-Saxon artefacts that suggested a high-status burial; carbon dating has revealed that the burial probably dates from about 580 AD, and may have been the tomb of Sæxa, brother of Sæberht, King of Essex.[5][6]

Additional photographs[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Southend Planetarium". Southend Museums. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. ^ "History of Libraries in Southend". Southend on Sea Borough Council. Archived from the original on 24 September 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  3. ^ English Heritage. "British Listed Buildings (Public Library, Southend)". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Southend Museum Service (Central Museum)". Southend Museum Service. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Southend burial site 'UK's answer to Tutankhamun'". BBC. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  6. ^ Whitehouse, Ellis. "Anglo-Saxon king exhibition showing 'Southend's rich cultural heritage' officially opens". Halstead Gazette. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2019.

External links[edit]