Priory Park gates back to former glory in centenary year

Published Monday, 21st August 2017

Duke Of York walking through Priory Park with applauding on lookers

The gates to Southend’s award-winning Priory Park have been restored to their former glory in the parks centenary year.

The gates, which have been draped in scaffolding since 13th July, will be officially re-opened by The Worshipful The Mayor, Cllr Fay Evans on 31st August.

The refurbishment was part of a double celebration: the 100 years since the park was gifted to Southend-on-Sea, and the 125 years since the incorporation of the Borough.

Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy, said: “The Priory Park gates are a rich part of our history, forming an iconic entrance to the award-winning Priory Park since being installed after WW1 in 1920.

“Over the years, the gates have been routinely maintained but some of their finer features, such as the bronze lions - which have been missing since the early 1990s – are being replaced with resin replicas.

“As the Borough celebrates 125 years since its incorporation – and the Park celebrates its centenary year – it is wonderful to see the gates being restored to their former glory”

The park was gifted to the people of Southend-on-Sea by R A Jones in 1917, a local jeweller and philanthropist, who originally owned Prittlewell Priory, along with the surrounding park grounds. The gates were opened for the first time in 1920 by the Duke of York.