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.
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.
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.