Southend-on-Sea Off The Beaten Path

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    by marsistanbul
  • Section of Mulbury Harbour
    Section of Mulbury Harbour
    by PeterVancouver
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by marsistanbul

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Southend-on-Sea

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    Graffitti

    by IreneMcKay Written Aug 29, 2015

    As i was wandering I passed this derelict building with paintings on it. I recognize the scenes from Porridge with Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale, but I am not sure what the others are. No idea who painted them there or why.

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    Priory Park

    by IreneMcKay Updated Aug 29, 2015

    Priory Park was originally the grounds of Prittlewell Priory. It is now a lovely public park.

    To enter the park you pass through some rather ornate gates. There is a large grassy area in front of you and off to the right there are the priory's former fishing ponds which are still fished by local anglers today.

    As you near the priory, the gardens become very beautiful and flower filled. There is a rose garden and a flower filled walled garden which was a kitchen garden when the Scrattons occupied the house and a burial ground when the building was a priory.

    Detail from entry gate. Fish ponds. Lavendar lined path. Walled Garden. Fountain in the walled garden.
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    Prittlewell Priory

    by IreneMcKay Updated Aug 29, 2015

    A little further on from the football ground we reached Priory Park and Prittlewell Priory.

    Prittlewell Priory was founded in the twelfth century by monks from the Cluniac Priory of St Pancras. It was a small monastery only housing around 18 monks. The Cluniac Order were largely a silent order and developed sign language for communicating.

    In the sixteenth century, during the reformation and dissolution of the monasteries, much of the building was destroyed. After that time Prittlewell Priory became a private residence. The last family to live here were the Scrattons in the nineteenth century. When they lived here, the house had thirteen bedrooms. Some of their possessions and paintings are on display inside the priory.

    In 1917 the building was purchased by Robert A. Jones, a local jeweller and philanthropist. He donated it to the City Council and in May 1922 it opened as Southend's first museum.

    In 2011 the priory buildings were refurbished and the construction of a new Visitor Centre was begun.

    Entry to the priory is free. The building is a mixture of priory, private home and museum. Two of the downstairs rooms tell the story of the Scratton family. Also downstairs is the monks' refectory hall with displays about life in the priory. There is also part of an old cellar. Upstairs has displays about the wildlife found in Priory Park.

    Prittlewell Priory Prittlewell Priory Prittlewell Priory Prittlewell Priory Prittlewell Priory
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    Southend Football Club.

    by IreneMcKay Written Aug 29, 2015

    Southend Football Club's grounds are not far from St Mary's Church. Southend are known as the blues. I liked the sense of humour shown on the outside of the club. I did not go and watch the match. I explored Southend while Peter was at the football. Walsall won, so he was happy. There was a nice atmosphere at the match and some pubs on route had signs inviting Walsall fans in for a drink. A bit different from Wetherspoon's, Wolverhampton with its home supporters only sign at the door!

    Southend Football Club. Southend Football Club. Southend Football Club.
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    The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin - Prittlewell.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Aug 29, 2015

    At the far end of the Churchill Gardens, just across the road, we saw the lovely Church of Saint Mary the Virgin.

    Apparently there has been a church on this site for more than a thousand years. It is believed that a small chapel once stood on the site of the present church as far back as the seventh century.

    The church grew in size and importance over time. However, in the reign of Henry VIII, at the time of the Reformation, much of the church's income and assets were seized. During the Second World War Saint Mary's suffered blast damage.

    We went inside the church only to find it was being prepared for a wedding. However, as the wedding had not started, we were able to look around. I was impressed by the church's stain glass windows. They were quite unusual, not all of them were religious some depicted local scenes.

    There is a well cared for graveyard around the outside of the church.

    The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
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    The Churchill Gardens.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Aug 29, 2015

    A bit further on from the civic centre we came to the Churchill Gardens.

    These gardens were created by Mr Frank Scheerboom. He was the owner of the Express Laundry in Southend, and together with his wife lived in the laundry grounds. He bought the land behind his house which was originally a sand pit. Then in 1951 Mr Scheerboom called in landscape gardener, Ian Walker, to convert the sandpit into gardens.

    After ten happy years enjoying his gardens, Mr Scheerboom died in1961 and his widow carried on maintaining the laundry and the gardens. Then in 1964 she sold them to the Southend Corporation. The Scheerboom's house and laundry have been demolished, but the beautiful gardens remain open to the public.

    The gardens were officially opened on 4th May 1966 by the Lord-Lieutenant of Essex Sir John Ruggles-Brise.

    We stopped here to eat our breakfast/lunch before continuing on our way. The gardens were peaceful and filled with lots of highly active squirrels.

    Peter in the Churchill Gardens. The Churchill Gardens. The Churchill Gardens. The Churchill Gardens. The Churchill Gardens.
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    The Civic Centre and its Fountain

    by IreneMcKay Updated Aug 29, 2015

    The first thing we did when we arrived in Southend was to go looking for the football ground so my husband could find it easily at match time.

    On our way there the first interesting site we passed was the Civic Centre and its fountain. This was designed by sculptor Bill Mitchell. For inspiration he used the Southend coat of arms and motto 'Per mare, per ecclesiam'. An inscription on the fountain reads: 'This is what it looks like when the figures in the Southend crest - by the church and by the sea, take off their belts, put down their swords and fountains of water come out of their mouths. '

    We found the coat of arms on the door of the nearby civic centre. I rather liked this fountain and the idea of reworking the coat of arms in such a playful way.

    Civic Centre fountain. Inscription. Peter outside the Civic Centre. Southend's coat of arms.
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    WWII

    by PeterVancouver Updated Apr 3, 2012

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    Some five miles to the east of the Pier, is the wreck of USS Robert Montgomery which went aground and broke its back in August 1944. The vessel was carrying a huge amount of munitions but has been deemed too dangerous to try to remove the cargo which rumour has it, contains some "dirty weapons" such as mustard gas. If it did explode, it would be one of the largest non nuclear explosion in history,causing damage to seafront property from Southend to Shoeburyness, although it is thought the danger of the cargo exploding after all these years is remote. There is however an exclusion zone around the vessel which is controlled by radar but even this has not prevented vessels hitting the wreck, including a cargo vessel which actually dislodged one the Montgomery’s guns.

    Nearer to the Pier and visible from Southend or Thorpe Bay seafront, is the wreck of a section of WWII Mulbury harbour. It was being towed from Humberside to the South coast as part of the D-Day landings, when it developed a leak and was diverted to the Thames where it sank and broke in two. As it is not in a shipping lane it has been left where it foundered.

    Further to the East is Foulness where the UK Government Defence Evaluation and Research Agency [DERA] operated.The area is still restricted under the Official Secrets Act and from where over the past fifty years or so, some pretty spectacular explosions can be heard up to 20 miles away around Southend.

    see my intro on "Foulness"

    Masts of the USS Robert Montgomery Section of Mulbury Harbour
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    Nice marina and local nature reserve

    by jhorsfield30 Written May 22, 2011

    Leigh on sea is a 2-3 mile walk from southend on sea and has a train station by the marina,
    The marina town is quiant and has a interesting museum and local eateries. Plus a good opportunity to buy local seafood.
    The town meanwhile is the usual fare but well designed and plenty of local shops.
    Heading away from the train station along the coast is a nature reserve and island with protected coast and fiona.

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    Kids Kingdom

    by marsistanbul Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    8000 square foot play area of bouncy inflatable obstacle courses,climbs,runs and tubular slides,including a 14 foot vertical drop slide and 14 foot jelly mountain.A dedicated pre-school area has soft play and small twist slides.Large thermed diner,regular BBQ in summer.Can be booked for special after hours parties for "young at heart" adults :)
    Days open;daily except Christmas Day,Boxing Day,and New Year's Day.
    Times open; 10.ooam-18.ooam
    Prices;pls see web page.
    address;Garon Park,Eastern Avenue,Southend-on-Sea

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    Odeon Eight Screen Cinema

    by marsistanbul Written Jun 20, 2008

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    As you know,Odeon is the largest cinema chain in the UK. with over one hundred cinemas.and as I remember that last time I've been watched Manoj N.Shyamalan's disappointment movie "the Village"..I see a dead movie:)
    Days open;every day,all year round except Christmas day.
    Times open;usually 11.ooam to 9.30pm Sun to Thur and 11.ooam to 10.30pm on Fri and Sat but times dependant upon the film programme.
    address;the Broadway,High Street,Southend-on-Sea

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    Central Museum and Discovery Centre

    by marsistanbul Written Jun 20, 2008

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    Central Museum is home to major exhibits from the region's natural and human history.The Discovery Centre includes a section for hands-on learning where visitors can handle and examine the exhibits using video microscopes,computers and magnifiers.An impressive collection of historic photographs can be accessed by computer.
    Planetarium;The only public planetarium in the South East outside of London.A range of talks on astronomy and the fascinating night sky are performed live,allowing the audience to ask questions..
    address;Victoria avenue.in town center,next to Southend Victoria Railway Station
    Prices;adult 2.40 pounds Planetarium(central museum free)
    Days and times open;tuesday to saturday,all year round except Public Holidays.
    10.ooam-17.oopm

    www.southendmuseums.co.uk
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    Southchurch Hall Museum

    by marsistanbul Written Jun 20, 2008

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    13th-14th century timber-framed moated manor house with Tudor,Stuart and Victorian times...Period room settings from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.Exhibition of history of house and manor.Attractive gardens and ornamental ponds.
    Free admission
    Days Open:Tue-Sat 10.oo-13.oo 14.oo-17.00 except Public Holidays.
    During term time school are given priority to the museum in the mornings so it is advisible to phone in advance of your visit to check if Museum will be open.
    address;Park Road,Southend-on-Sea

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    Essex Southend Cricket Festival

    by marsistanbul Updated Jun 3, 2008

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    This year Essex Country Cricket Club heads to its touring venue of Garon Park for a packed week of competition.
    Between Wednesday 3rd August and Sunday 7th August,the glorious setting will get its first taste of this summer event,where top-class cricket and family entertaintment combine.
    Tickets can be purchased via the Cliff Pavilion box office.
    www.cliffpavilion.co.uk

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    The pier Museum

    by sourbugger Updated May 7, 2004

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    Very few people seem to realise that tucked away somewhere underneath the train station at the land end of the pier railway lies an interesting little museum about the pier.

    It is only 60 pence to get in but has a well presented display about the pier itself, the disasters that have beset it, the threat of closure, it's use in wartime and much else besides.

    It's prize exhibits are some well restored examples of old rolling stock of the pier railway which at one time carried over Five million people a year.

    Southend pier railway
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