Southend Central Museum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Central Museum, Southend
Central Museum Southend.jpg
Central Museum, Southend
Southend Central Museum is located in Essex
Southend Central Museum
Museum location in Essex
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
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]


  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]