Pritlewell Priory Museum

Conservation equipment and display specialist Conservation By Design (CXD) has supplied bespoke showcases to Prittlewell Priory Museum as part of a £1.8million refurbishment of the 900-year-old building.

The historic site in Priory Park, Southend, houses a mix of the heritage items including monastic finds, natural history and wildlife artefacts, and items which relate to the Victorian inhabitants of the building.

The 11 showcases provided by CXD were designed specifically to conserve and protect the many important artefacts from the hazards posed by issues including varying temperature and relative humidity in the aging building. The cases also allow for the viewing public to enjoy an unhampered view of the exhibits from all angles.

John Skinner, Museum Services Manager, said: "The museum tells the history of a building that has been a monastery, a priory and a Victorian home. This has been a two year project financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and we're delighted the doors are back open for people to explore the museum

Built in 1110 by Robert Fitz Suen, the Priory of St Mary first housed the Cluniac Monks. For hundreds of years it housed many families as a private residence before being bought in 1917 by a local jeweler, Robert Jones, who presented it to the town of Southend-on-Sea prior to it being refurbished as a museum.

The project to carefully revive the facility by a team of restorers, crafters and construction specialists, commenced in August 2010, with the doors finally reopening in June this year.

Christopher French, from Conservation By Design, said: "Prittlewell Priory is steeped in history so it is an honour to have been involved in this project for the museum and play a part in bringing it back to life. I hope that our work will ensure the access and ongoing conservation of the impressive collection of artifacts here for many years to come."

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