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".

Current Exhibitions

The Princely Burial

At Central Museum


Wild Estuary

At Central Museum

Until 26th September 2020

Getting Here


Victoria Avenue





Telephone: 01702 212345


Visitor Information

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 10:00-17:00

Wednesday: 10:00-17:00


Friday: 10:00-17:00

Saturday: 10:00-17:00

Sunday: Closed

Bank Holidays: Closed

Opening Times

Discover unique gifts, toys and stationery in our museum Gift Shop. 

There are currently no refreshment facilities inside the museum.

Gift Shop & Refreshments

A disabled access entrance is located to the right hand side of the Museum. Please ring the bell for assistance.

The ground floor is fully accessible but as the museum currently doesn't have a lift, the first floor (and therefore the Planetarium and toilets) are inaccessible.

Disabled toilets are available next door in the Beecroft Art Gallery

Limited disabled parking is available to the rear of the building. Access is through the Beecroft staff car park, which is located to the left of the entrance to the multi-story car park. 

Museum Accessibility

© 2020 Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Southend Museums Service is part of the Culture Section of the Place Department, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

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