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".

Central Museum
Central Museum

Central Museum

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Central Museum
Central Museum

Central Museum

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Central Museum
Central Museum

Central Museum

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Central Museum
Central Museum

Central Museum

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Current Exhibitions


The Princely Burial

At Central Museum


Wunderkammer: Southend's Cabinet of Curiosity

Wunderkammer: Southend's Cabinet of Curiosity

Central Museum

2 October 2021 - 3 October 2022

Getting Here


Victoria Avenue





Telephone: 01702 212345


Getting Here by Car

We are located on the A127 just off the main junction between the A127 and A13. The Museum and Planetarium is brown signed off both roads.

Closest parking is at the Beecroft Art Gallery (previously Southend Library) car park just off Great Eastern Avenue (off of Victoria Avenue).
It is pay and display.

Alternative car parking is available at The Victoria Shopping Centre (SS2 5SP) just off the A127 and A13 junction.

Getting Here by Train

Two direct rail lines operate between London and Southend - Fenchurch Street to Southend Central (C2C line) and Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria (Greater Anglia). The journey time on both lines is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Closest station to Central Museum is Southend Victoria on the Greater Anglia line. Upon leaving the station turn right from either exit, passing the station drop off zone, the Museum's banner situated high on the side of the building should be visible. It is a two minute walk.

Getting Here by Bus

There is a bus hub just outside the Southend Victoria train station.

Visitor Information

Opening Times

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: 11-5

Thursday: 11-5

Friday: 11-5

Saturday: 11-5

Sunday: 11-5

Bank Holidays: Closed

All visitors must wear face coverings. 

Gift Shop & Refreshments

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

There are currently no refreshment facilities inside the museum.

Museum Accessibility

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.