Priory Park gates back to former glory in centenary year

August 24, 2017 by SBC

Monday 21st August 2017

The gates to Southend’s award-winning Priory Park have been restored to their former glory in the parks centenary year.

The gates, which have been draped in scaffolding since 13th July, will be officially re-opened by The Worshipful The Mayor, Cllr Fay Evans on 31st August.

The refurbishment was part of a double celebration: the 100 years since the park was gifted to Southend-on-Sea, and the 125 years since the incorporation of the Borough.

Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy, said: “The Priory Park gates are a rich part of our history, forming an iconic entrance to the award-winning Priory Park since being installed after WW1 in 1920.

“Over the years, the gates have been routinely maintained but some of their finer features, such as the bronze lions - which have been missing since the early 1990s – are being replaced with resin replicas.

“As the Borough celebrates 125 years since its incorporation – and the Park celebrates its centenary year – it is wonderful to see the gates being restored to their former glory.”

The park was gifted to the people of Southend-on-Sea by R A Jones in 1917, a local jeweller and philanthropist, who originally owned Prittlewell Priory, along with the surrounding park grounds. The gates were opened for the first time in 1920 by the Duke of York.