Prittlewell Princely Burial: Permanent Exhibition

Date: 11th May 2019 - 7th May 2020 Recurs daily.

Cancelled on: 13th May 2019, 20th May 2019, 27th May 2019, 3rd June 2019, 9th June 2019, 10th June 2019, 16th June 2019, 17th June 2019, 23rd June 2019, 24th June 2019, 30th June 2019, 1st July 2019, 7th July 2019, 8th July 2019, 14th July 2019, 15th July 2019, 21st July 2019, 22nd July 2019, 28th July 2019, 29th July 2019, 4th August 2019, 5th August 2019, 11th August 2019, 12th August 2019, 18th August 2019, 19th August 2019, 25th August 2019, 26th August 2019, 1st September 2019, 2nd September 2019, 8th September 2019, 9th September 2019, 15th September 2019, 16th September 2019, 22nd September 2019, 23rd September 2019, 29th September 2019, 30th September 2019, 6th October 2019, 7th October 2019, 13th October 2019, 14th October 2019, 20th October 2019, 21st October 2019, 27th October 2019, 28th October 2019, 3rd November 2019, 4th November 2019, 10th November 2019, 11th November 2019, 17th November 2019, 18th November 2019, 24th November 2019, 25th November 2019, 1st December 2019, 2nd December 2019, 8th December 2019, 9th December 2019, 15th December 2019, 16th December 2019, 22nd December 2019, 23rd December 2019, 25th December 2019, 29th December 2019, 30th December 2019, 5th January 2020, 6th January 2020, 12th January 2020, 13th January 2020, 19th January 2020, 20th January 2020, 26th January 2020, 27th January 2020, 2nd February 2020, 3rd February 2020, 9th February 2020, 10th February 2020, 16th February 2020, 17th February 2020, 23rd February 2020, 24th February 2020, 1st March 2020, 2nd March 2020, 8th March 2020, 9th March 2020, 15th March 2020, 16th March 2020, 22nd March 2020, 23rd March 2020, 29th March 2020, 30th March 2020, 5th April 2020, 6th April 2020, 12th April 2020, 13th April 2020, 19th April 2020, 20th April 2020, 26th April 2020, 27th April 2020, 3rd May 2020, 4th May 2020

Location: Southend Central Museum, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6EW

Cost: Free Entry

Time: 10:00 - 17:00

Drinking Horn in matrix with CT image behind

Objects from the famous Prittlewell Anglo-Saxon princely burial have gone on permanent display at Southend Central Museum.

Open to the public for free from Saturday 11 May 2019, the new permanent gallery features some of the chamber’s most impressive items.

In 2003 archaeologists from MOLA excavated a small plot of land in Prittlewell, Essex. The discovery of a well-preserved burial chamber adorned with rare and precious objects astounded archaeologists but many of the burial chamber’s secrets lay concealed beneath centuries of earth and corrosion, only to be revealed as conservators and archaeological specialists began their meticulous work.

Ciara Phipps, Curatorial Manager at Southend Museums Service, said: “The long-awaited return of the Prittlewell Princely burial collection is a hugely exciting and significant moment for Southend Museums Service and the Borough. The finds, now on permanent display at Southend Central Museum, highlight the richness of this community’s heritage and have deepened our understanding of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Essex. Alongside iconic objects such as the gold-foil crosses, we have a huge array of other incredible artefacts for the public to view, such as the unique remains of a Lyre – a musical instrument - and even the surviving tooth fragments of the man himself. This is a turning point for the cultural heritage offer of Southend-on-Sea.”

Previously hidden secrets and insights into the Prittlewell princely burial and the man buried have been painstakingly reconstructed by a team of over 40 archaeological experts. The new research, which is published today by archaeologists from MOLA, and funded by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Historic England, explores the nationally significant collection, including hitherto unidentified artefacts from the Anglo-Saxon princely burial chamber.

Sophie Jackson, MOLA’S Director of Research & Engagement, said: “This is one of the most significant Anglo-Saxon discoveries this country has seen and because of the meticulous attention to detail given when excavating and recording the Prittlewell princely burial, a team of specialists has been able to reveal new elements of the burial chamber, details about the man buried and insights into Anglo-Saxon traditions that we never thought possible.”

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “This burial chamber was an exciting discovery in 2003 and over the years it has slowly been giving up its secrets. The range of exquisite objects discovered here, now around 1400 years old and some of them representing the only surviving examples of their kind, are giving us an extraordinary insight into early Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship and culture.”

The new MOLA research is published today in a MOLA monograph: ‘The Prittlewell Princely Burial Excavations at Priory Crescent, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, 2003’, priced £35, and a popular book: ‘The AngloSaxon Princely Burial at Prittlewell, Southend-on-Sea’, priced £15. Both publications are available to buy from the MOLA website.

You can also read more here on the MOLA blog and view the Princely Burial Chamber

The online interactive chamber can be viewed on the Prittlewell Princely Burial website.

Please note the Southend Central Museum is closed on Mondays. 

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