Southend on Sea, Essex

Historical Description

Southend-on-Sea, a municipal borough, a pleasant thriving town, and a watering-place in Essex, situated near the mouth of the Thames, 16 miles S from Maldon, and 43 from London. It is in the parish of Prittlewell, and was governed by a local board of health established in 1866, which consisted of twelve members, until 1892, when it gave place to a corporation under the Municipal Acts, and is now governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors. A separate commission of the peace for the borough was granted in 1894. It is a modern place, dating from a period not earlier than 1804, and it first attracted notice as a watering-place from a visit of Queen Caroline and Princess Charlotte in that year. It has communication with London and with the rest of Essex by the London, Tilbury, and Southend and Great Eastern railways, and during the summer season steamers run to and from London several times a day, as well as to Clacton, Harwich, Sheerness, Rochester, and Gravesend. Owing to its excellent railway service, the town has attracted a large residential population during the past few years, and many city merchants have erected villas there. Southend as a watering-place is noted chiefly for its salubrious situation, the charming marine views that can be obtained from its higher grounds, its pleasant promenades, and its excellent bathing and boating facilities. The local board expended considerable sums in improving the town, and in adding to its attractions. From the sea front extends an iron pier, which is about a mile and a quarter in length, is traversed by an electric tramway, and is lighted by electricity. It is also provided with several shelters, an ornamental pavilion, and a refreshment room. In the lower town of Southend there is a beautiful marine park on which several thousands of pounds were expended. The best villa residences and lodging-houses are located in the vicinities of Cliff Town Parade and the West Cliff, though the Royal Terrace is another noteworthy thoroughfare. Formerly a hamlet of Prittlewell, Southend was formed into a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1842. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; gross value, £200, in the gift of the Bishop of St Albans. The church of St John the Baptist is a building of stone in mixed styles. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of St Albans; gross value, £150 with residence, in the gift of Keble College, Oxford. Other places of worship are a Roman Catholic church, to which is attached a convent, orphanage, and a home for aged and destitute poor, a Reformed Church of England, erected in 1877-78, the first of the kind to be erected in Great Britain, and Baptist, Congregational, Free Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels. Southend is the head of a county court district, and petty sessions for the Rochford division are held here and at Rochford, on alternate Wednesdays. It has a head post, money order, and telegraph office. The area and population are returned with Prittlewell. Population of the ecclesiastical parish of St John the Baptist, 6969; of the ecclesiastical parish of All Saints, 1904. AS a short distance from Southend in the parish of Hadleigh, there is the famous Farm Colony established here in 1891 by " General" Booth of the Salvation Army in connection with the " Darkest England Scheme." It consists of an estate of some 1200 acres, originally divided into three farms, but which is now the seat of several busy industries in addition to agricultural work. Prittlewell and Milton are noticed separately.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Civil parish Prittlewell

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Southend on Sea from the following:

Newspapers and Periodicals

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