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Prittlewell Priory

Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS2 6NB
  • Free Parking
  • Gift-Shop
  • Toilets
Access facilities:
  • Accessible Toilet
  • Baby Changing Facilities
  • Dementia Friendly
  • Family Friendly Venue

Prittlewell Priory was founded by the Cluniac Order in the early 12th century as a cell to the Priory of St Pancras at Lewes, Sussex. It was one of the lesser monasteries housing not more than 18 monks. In 1536 much of the building was destroyed and what remained was much altered during the 18th Century. Alterations were made again in the early 20th Century, when the Refectory was restored and partly rebuilt. A number of original features do survive, including a 12th Century doorway with chevron and dog tooth ornamentation.

After the Dissolution the Priory was a private residence and it was granted to Lord Chancellor Audley, who conveyed it to Robert, son of Lord Rich. It afterwards passed with the manor to various families. The last family to live there, the 19th Century Scrattons, are explored in an exhibition inside the house. In 1917 the building was purchased by Robert Jones, and in May 1922 it opened as Southend’s first museum.

In 2011 works began on refurbishing the existing buildings and the construction of a new Visitor Centre. The £2 million works were in part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Cory Environmental Trust in Southend and were undertaken by The Facility Architects and Ibex Interiors. Works were completed in the summer of 2012 and the Priory re-opened in the June of that year. The new Visitor Centre, adjacent to the Priory, opened in February 2013.

Museum Clubs

History Club

Join in the new free drop in history chat session open to anyone and everyone! Hosted at Prittlewell Priory Visitor Centre every Thursday at 11am.

Come along and meet likeminded people and engage in discussions led by you.

All are welcome, if you prefer to just come along and listen that’s fine too. Books and photos will be provided each week to stimulate the discussion.


Cycling Club

If you’re interested in improving your health and getting to know your local area then why not come and join Southend Museums’ new Cycling Club!

All ages and abilities are welcome, and you don’t even have to own your own bike, as loan bikes are available!

Security tagging and a free bike clinic will also be available.

Places must be booked.  To do so and for more information please contact

Events at this venue

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