Southend Central Museum Museums
Southend on Sea
The Central Museum is situated in Victoria Avenue, and houses the main offices of the Museums Service, together with the Planetarium and principal artefact store.
The Central Museum was opened in April 1981, in a magnificent Edwardian library building, Southend's first free public library, designed by H.T. Hare for the Carnegie foundation. The building was extended in 1926 to accommodate a children's section. The library closed in 1974 when a new Central Library was erected next door. Over six years were then spent in converting the "old" library into the town's Central Museum.
The town's original museum collections were formed from donations to the Southend Institute, in Clarence Road. The Institute eventually became part of the town's first Town Hall. When the Library was built, the opportunity was taken to transfer these collections to the first floor landing of the new building. Here they remained until 1917 or so, when they were moved again, this time to Prittlewell Priory. In 1974, the principal collections were brought back to the new Central Museum for storage and display.
The displays tell the story of the natural and human history of south east Essex. The displays will shortly be undergoing considerable change, as we develop a local history gallery, following the opening of the Southend Discovery Centre
The Central Museum is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10.00am to 5.00pm
AddressVictoria Avenue, Southend on Sea, Essex, SS2 6EW
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