Southend Central Museum


The council’s culture, leisure and library venues are closed in response to the national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. For the lastest guidance and advice visit our Coronavirus page.

Southend Central Museum houses the collections of local and natural history and archaeology. Displays reflect the story of Southend's growth as a major seaside destination and its rich natural history and fishing heritage.

The Museum Gift Shop stocks cards, giftware, toys, stationery, crystals and fossils. 

Photograph of Museum

Central Museum

Opening Times
Tuesdays to Saturdays - 10am to 5pm
Free Admission
Education Sessions

Southend Museums offer a range of educational sessions for all ages from Key Stage 1 to Adult groups (min 10 people). See below for the exciting range of sessions on offer, to book any of these sessions please contact the Museums Education Team via email or telephone 01702 212345.

Anglo-Saxon Life

Using the displays as a starting point, this session explores the basic questions, ‘Who were the Saxons?’ and ‘How did they live?’

Referring to the nationally important and local princely finds at Prittlewell in 2003, we explore Saxon life through aspects of ‘heroic’ culture, with original and replica objects including a look at the original finds on display. This session also explores the language, local place names and involves the handling of replica objects from combs to swords.

The session can be extended to explore the themes of language with an introduction to Beowulf – the earliest story in English – which is a fine example of the oral tradition.

This session is suitable for KS2 - Adult and take place at Southend Central Museum. 

  • Standard Session 1 Hour - Child £4/Adult £5
  • Extended Session 1.5 Hours - Child £5/Adult £6

Tudor Life

This session incorporates a living history aspect and visitors are welcome to join in with their own costume!

Using the wonderful backdrop of Southchurch Hall, visitors will become immersed in the world of the Tudors. This popular session covers the following themes: the rooms of the Manor house and how they were used; rich and poor, how food was cooked and eaten; etiquette; clothing; natural materials and beliefs and ideas.

This session is suitable for KS1 - Adult and take place at Southchurch Hall

  • Standard Session 2 Hours - Child £4/Adult £5


Set in the Victorian parlour of the Scratton home, discover what life was like for the Scratton family.

Explore life at the time of Mr and Mrs Scratton, and their children; Dorothy, Peggy, “Tim Pieface McCarty”, Humphrey, Geoffrey, and the “afterthought”. This session explores rich and poor in Victorian society and what was expected of children from different classes. Use is made of original objects from the collection together with the stunning room settings portrayed in the museum. During their visit, visitors will also learn about other aspects of Victorian life, including domestic life and service in a Victorian household.

This session is suitable for KS2 - Adult and take place at Prittlewell Priory

  • Standard Session 1 Hour 30 Minutes - Child £4/Adult £5

WW1: Southend at War!

Discover the story of Southend town throughout WW1, complementing the on-going centenary commemorations...

Southend at War is heavily supported by images of the town a century ago, original objects to handle, and replica objects to wear. The three key topics covered are: hospitals in Southend and the treatment of wounded soldiers & sailors; Zeppelins, air raids and aliens in Southend; and Southend people - women at war, joining up, munitions works, and civil defence. Talks also focus on the past and present (compare and contrast), as well as looking at changes and continuity in society and Southend.

This session is suitable for KS2 - Adult and take place at Southend Central Museum.

  • Standard Session 1 Hour - Child £4/Adult £5

WW2: Southend at War!

Southend at War covers the story of the town throughout WW2 and complements objects in our permanent collections.

This session is heavily supported by original objects from our Central Museum collection. Visitors learn about Southend during the War and how it affected local children of the time through their evacuation, as well as those who stayed during the Battle of Britain & the Battle of the Thames. Themes explored include: the context of Southend during the War years; evacuation; ‘make do and mend’; ‘dig for victory’; and ends with accounts from local children read aloud by the visiting children.

This session is suitable for KS1 - Adult and take place at Southend Central Museum.

  • Standard Session 1 Hour - Child £4/Adult £5
Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS2 6EW
  • gift shop
  • wheelchair access to ground floor only
  • no disabled toilet facilities
01702 212345
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