Southend Central MuseumVictoria Aveune, Southend on Sea, SS2 6EW
Explore a variety of collections, including the ‘Prittlewell Princely Burial’ exhibition.
In 2003 an exceptionally well-preserved Anglo Saxon burial chamber was discovered in Prittlewell, the chamber contained an array of fascinating and beautiful possessions such as drinking vessels, weaponry, and gaming pieces which are now on display.
The ‘Wild Estuary’ exhibition explores the importance of the Thames Estuary and the role it plays within the natural landscape. With the important message around pollution and the infiltration of plastic into our waterways, this exhibition provides the visitor with an insight into why it is so important we protect our environment and the animals and insects that live in it.
Southend Museum was built in 1905-6 at a cost of £9,374 and originally housed Southend Library.
The building was commissioned and paid for by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-born American immigrant, who went from rags to riches in the steel manufacturing industry. Later in his life, Carnegie sold his steel business and systematically gave 90% of his collected fortune away to cultural, educational and scientific institutions for “the improvement of mankind.” In total he spent over $55million on building over 2,509 libraries throughout the English-speaking world and was commonly referred to as the “Patron Saint of Libraries”.
The museum houses collections of local and natural history and contains a planetarium constructed by astronomer Harry Ford in 1984.