See the Prittlewell Prince’s top treasures!

Enchanting treasures buried with the Prince of Prittlewell more than 1,100 years ago can now be seen at Southend Museum.

Items dramatically unearthed by archaeologists at Priory Crescent in 2003 are on display at Southend Museum in Victoria Avenue until next March.

Among the selection are gold objects which recently starred in a major exhibition at Paderborn, Germany, tracing the spread of Christianity across Europe.

They were previously on show in Southend ten years ago in a special display mounted by the Museum of London following exceptional excavation.

Since then, every single priceless artefact has been studied in minute detail by archaeological experts who are nearing the end of their research and plan to publish their findings in a report next year.

Meanwhile, the delicate treasures themselves will permanently return to Southend, but need a purpose-built, temperature-controlled environment before they can be fully and safely displayed.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Councillor Derek Jarvis said: "The exhibition reflects the next chapter in an unfolding saga of our very own saxon monarch, the Prince of Prittlewell. Among the pieces now on show are a gold buckle, two gold crosses, glass vases and a large flagon.

"From research undertaken so far, it’s believed these remarkable items date back to 600 AD. It is truly amazing to have an opportunity to see such ancient treasures.

"Presently, we don’t have the facilities to exhibit all 200 artefacts which will eventually come back to Southend, so we’re pursuing plans for a new museum with dedicated space for this exceptional section of our heritage which tells the fascinating story of the Prince of Prittlewell revealed through the objects discovered in his burial chamber - including astonishing finds such as counters made out of pieces of deer antler – believed to be for an ancient board game."

The free exhibition is at Southend Museum from 10am until 5pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Published: 3rd December 2013

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