Southend Central Museum
Central Museum, Southend
|Key holdings||Prittlewell Anglo-Saxon burial; The London shipwreck|
|Collections||Costume, fine art, local history, natural history, archaeology|
|Architect||Henry Thomas Hare|
|Owner||Southend-on-Sea Borough Council|
|Public transit access||Southend Victoria|
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.
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.
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.
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.
- "Southend Planetarium". Southend Museums. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- "History of Libraries in Southend". Southend on Sea Borough Council. Archived from the original on 24 September 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- English Heritage. "British Listed Buildings (Public Library, Southend)". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "Southend Museum Service (Central Museum)". Southend Museum Service. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "Southend burial site 'UK's answer to Tutankhamun'". BBC. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
- 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.
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