Southend Golden Jubilee Heritage Trail
The Origins of Southend
The first settlement at Prittlewell is thought to have been a 6th or 7th century Saxon village, close to St Mary's Church. In fact the church still possibly contains evidence of a Saxon arch on its north side. The rest of the present Church dates from the 12th and 15th centuries. St Mary's has always been one of Southend's most important churches and is the only church in the locality mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.
From the 13th to the 16th centuries Prittlewell was a busy market town. During the 15th and 16th centuries it prospered and substantial building work took place apart from the church, only 255 and 269/275 Victoria Avenue now survive. Recent historic evidence suggests that 255 Victoria Avenue was originally a mid 15th century shop and possibly the market hall on its first floor and would therefore have been an important meeting place for the local community.
Victoria Avenue, south of East Street / West Street was constructed in 1889 to link Prittlewell with the centre of Southend. This road building scheme meant that a number of buildings, including the original Blue Boar Pub, were demolished. The existing building was built at the new road junction in the late 19th century. With its corner turret, red brick and tiles and decorative boarding it is a typical Arts & Crafts design of this period. The Blue Boar is locally famous because it is believed that Southend United Football Club was founded here in 1906.
Last updated: 19th September 2011
Further pages in Southend Golden Jubilee Heritage Trail
- You are here The Origins of Southend
- Churchill Gardens
- Southend Museum
- Southend High Street
- Nelson Street
- Clifftown Congregational Church and Cliff Town Estate
- Lutyens's War Memorial
- Queen Victoria Statue
- Royal Terrace & The Royal Hotel
- The Palace Hotel & St John’s Church
- Southend Pier
- Southend Golden Jubilee Heritage Trail