Southend Central Museum

Central Museum, Southend

Central Museum, Southend
Location Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Type Local history
A close up of the Central Museum, Southend

The Central Museum is a museum in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. The museum houses collections of local and natural history and contains a planetarium constructed by astronomer Harry Ford in 1984.[1]

The museum was opened in April 1981 in a Grade II listed building that was previously Southend's first free public library. The library service had moved to a new purpose built site on Victoria Avenue, which opened on 20 March 1974.[2]

The building

The Museum was originally built in 1905 as a free library, with £8000 of funding from Andrew Carnegie. The architect was Henry Thomas Hare.[3]

The collections

The Museum features a collection of original Ekco radios, manufactured by E.K. Cole & Co. Ltd. (or 'Ekco') formerly based in Southend. In the 1930s, this company was one of Britain's largest radio manufacturers.

The displays also include local and natural history and archaeology.[4]

Additional photographs


  1. Visit Southend Museums (leaflet). Southend on Sea: Southend Museums Service.
  2. "History of Libraries in Southend". Southend on Sea Borough Council. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  3. English Heritage. "British Listed Buildings (Public Library, Southend)". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  4. "Southend Museum Service (Central Museum)". Southend Museum Service. Retrieved 12 March 2013.

Coordinates: 51°32′32″N 0°42′38″E / 51.5422°N 0.7106°E / 51.5422; 0.7106

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