Prince's Time Trail of Prittlewell
About the Prince's Time Trail of Prittlewell
The Prittlewell area is where Southend began. At the end of the Ice Age, Prittle Brook formed a shallow valley. The stream now runs west to east, parallel to the present Fairfax Drive, under Victoria Avenue, and then turns northwards through Priory Park to flow into the River Roach east of Rochford. River valleys have always provided natural transport routes and attract settlements, often on more defensible sites on higher ground nearby.
Prittle Brook and its valley was no exception and along its course there is much archaeological evidence of prehistoric and later occupation.
When Priory Crescent was constructed in 1923, artefacts and other evidence were uncovered just north of the railway bridge, which showed the site to have been both a Roman and a 7th century Saxon cemetery. The cemetery was on the rising ground just beyond the trees and shrubs along the Park boundary and would have overlooked Prittle Brook. Roman and Saxon settlements would have been nearby. No firm evidence has been found of their locations. But a Saxon arch in St Mary's Church suggests that settlement might have been there on the highest ground south of the Brook.
Last updated: 23rd August 2011