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Opening Times

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: 11-5

Thursday: 11-5

Friday: 11-5

Saturday: 11-5

Sunday: 11-5

Bank Holidays: Closed


Southend Central 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  Andrew Carnegie Trust, found by the Scottish-born American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.


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 first museum started on the upper landing of the building until the library closed in 1974. The grade II listed building reopened as Southend Central Museum in 1981. The museum hosts displays of local archaeology, including the internationally relevant Prittlewell Princely Burial exhibition, natural history, social history and a yearly programme of temporary exhibitions.



Current Exhibitions


The Princely Burial

At Central Museum


The Romans: Settling in Southend

The Romans: Settling in Southend

Southend Central Museum

23/03/2024 to 23/03/2025

Getting Here


Victoria Avenue





Telephone: 01702 212345


  • 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. The closest station to Prittlewell Priory is Prittlewell Station on the Greater Anglia line. Those arriving on Southend bound trains should exit the station and turn right onto East Street, those arriving on London bound trains will need to with the station via station approach leading on to East Street. Continue on until you reach the traffic lights and turn right onto Victoria Avenue, after a short downhill walk you will reach a set of traffic lights where Priory Crescent meets Victoria Avenue. Cross Priory Crescent and enter Priory Park.
  • Getting Here by Bus
    The nearest bus stops to Priory park are located on Victoria Avenue and Fairfax drive close the Main Entrances.
  • Getting Here by Car
    The A127 and A13 link Southend to the M25. From the north Southend is accessible via the A1, M11, M25 (Junction 29 - 20 miles) & A127. From the south, Southend is reached via the M25 (Junction 30 - 26 miles) Dartford Tunnel & A13. Parking at Priory Park is free and disabled parking is available

Visitor Information

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. 

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