New immersive exhibition to shed light on Roman life in Southend

March 13, 2024

Southend-on-Sea City Council is delighted to announce the opening of an exciting new exhibition at Southend Central Museum.

Titled ‘Romans: Settling in Southend,’ this immersive showcase will shed light on the lives of individuals living in Roman Britain, offering a unique perspective into the rich history of our region.

The exhibition, curated by Southend Museums, features a stunning collection of Roman artefacts from across South Essex, many of which are being displayed publicly for the first time. While other notable Roman sites in Essex, such as Colchester and Chelmsford, have received significant attention, 'Settling in Southend' aims to spotlight the lesser-known Roman history of our city.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore artefacts unearthed from Roman settlements spanning from Prittlewell to Wickford, Shoebury to Rayleigh, unveiling the enduring imprint left by the Romans on our region. Unlike traditional narratives focusing solely on battles and revolts, this exhibition delves into the personal and familiar aspects of Roman life, offering glimpses into everyday community and domestic experiences.

One of the exhibition's highlights is the Wickford Well, an exceptionally rare 2000-year-old well discovered in the 1960s. Remarkably preserved with original wooden timbers and a wooden bucket, the well provides a tangible link to the daily lives of Roman inhabitants, offering a captivating glimpse into their world.

The exhibition promises to be an engaging experience for visitors of all ages, featuring interactive activities for children and captivating insights into the lives of our ancient neighbours. Whether studying the Romans in school or simply curious about our local history, 'Romans: Settling in Southend' offers a fascinating journey through time.

Councillor Derek Jarvis, cabinet member for arts, culture, heritage, and leisure, said: “We are so excited to display some incredibly unique finds from our vast collection of Roman material in this important exhibition. We hope to shine a light on the extremely interesting and rich personal, familial, and community life of Roman South Essex."

Romans: Settling in Southend' runs from 23 March 2024 to 23 March 2025. Tickets will be available at the Southend Central Museum front desk and are priced at £4.50 for adults.


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