Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Prittlewell Priory (Prittlewell)

Prittlewell Priory is a house on the site of a Cluniac priory at Prittlewell, the mother village of Southend.

It was founded in 1121 from Lewes, where the order's main house in England was situated. The actual founder was the local landowner Robert FitzSweyn, giving to the priory St. Marys Church and its chapels at Sutton and Eastwood, with tithes from the hamlet of Milton.

The refectory and some of the monks' cells survive, and there are some remaining walls of the church.

There was a private house added to the monastic buildings at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Henry VIII's reign, and the main frontage of this is Georgian.

The Priory and its grounds were purchased in 1917 by local jeweller R. A. Jones, and given to the people of Southend.

Today, the Priory houses a museum of local history, including the radio and TV industry, and the grounds now constitute the beautiful Priory Park.

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