04 February 2019

There are loads of exciting things going on at Southend Museums Service, from fascinating activities and events in our beautiful historic properties, to visually dynamic temporary exhibitions and upcoming new permanent displays. This offer is only going to get bigger and better so keep an eye out for what’s on!

One of the major highlights this year is the fascinating exhibition ‘The London Shipwreck; A Sunken Story’, which explores the incredible but short life of the ‘London’, one of only three Second-Rate large ships of the 10 ordered for service in the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-4). Built in a fascinating period of history, the London was commissioned by Oliver Cromwell to serve in the First Anglo-Dutch War, however she also was a part of the fleet of ships that returned King Charles II to his throne in Britain after his exile in the Netherlands. The ‘London’ was on her way to serve in the Second Anglo-Dutch war when on the 7th March 1665 she mysteriously blew up just off the end of where Southend Pier now stands.

This exhibition explores what life would have been like on board a ship at this time, alongside the interesting ways in which the open seas were navigated and tracked. Beautiful and incredibly well preserved objects and personal belongings have been excavated from the seabed and conserved, in an exciting and significant project undertaken by Southend Museums Service and Historic England, with the invaluable assistance and commitment of the London Shipwreck Trust.

You can see these incredible objects, learn about the story of the London and even cast your eyes on one of her 24-pounder, 12ft cannon dating from 1616! This exhibition is on display at Central Museum until 20th of July 2019, open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm.