Southend Central Museum & Planetarium

Southend Central Museum sits at Victoria Avenue and houses the Planetarium and principal artefact store. The museum was built in 1905-6 by philantrophist Andrew Carnegie, who is known today as “Patron Saint of Libraries”. It originally housed the Southend Library in its early years as well. Today, the Southend Central Museum tells the story of south east Essex’s natural and human history through its displays and the Planetarium presents fascinating talks that focus on the night sky.

Southend Central Museum

Southend Central Museum is home to an exciting selection of internationally significant archeology, including a permanent display of the incredible Anglo Saxon Prittlewell Princely Burial.

In addition to this, the museum also has some unique Natural History specimens and some beautiful examples of world-renowned domestic design through EKCO radio collection.

The museum also presents a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions every year that cover a different interesting subject and a variety of learning engagement opportunities for small and large groups.

Southend Planetarium

Southend Planetarium gives live, changing presentations about the night sky. Guests are welcome to ask the Planetarium’s lecturers about the presentations. To ensure that everyone is able to have a good experience at every show, the Planetarium only accommodates up to 20 people per show. Pre-booked groups are welcomed from Tuesday to Saturday. Interested visitors are encouraged to call the Planetarium in advance to confirm seat availability and the current programme.


Southend Central Museum’s disabled access is located to the right hand side of the building. To alert the staff, please ring the bell and they will gladly assist you. The museum’s ground floor is fully accessible for disabled visitors however, the museum currently does not have a lift to allow disabled guests to the first floor, where the Planetarium and toilets are located.

Disabled toilets are available next door, in the Beecroft Art Gallery. There are allotted limited disabled parking spaces at the rear of the building.

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How to go to Southend Central Museum & Planetarium

By Train

There are two direct rail lines you can take to reach Southend Central Museum and Planetarium. The C2C line runs from London and Southend-Fenchurch Street to Southend Central. On the other hand, the Greater Anglia line runs from Liverpool St to Southend Victoria. The journey time on both lines is approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Greater Anglia’s line ends closest to the Central Musuem’s location, which is only a two minute walk away from the museum.

By bus

There is a bus hub just outside the Southend Victoria train station.

Showtimes and Ticket Prices

As of the moment, Southend Museum and Planetarium is open on Sundays only as they are preparing an exciting new exhibit. Its regular schedule usually follows a scheme where the Museum and Planetarium is open from Wednesdays to Sundays, from 11am to 5pm.

Tickets for adult guests cost £6.00 and tickets for children/concession go for £4.20. Family tickets are available for £18.00 and are good for 2 adults and up to 3 children. Please do note that children under 5 are not admitted to the Planetarium. To book tickets or make an inquiry, you may call 01702 212345 or send an email to

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