The Prittlewell princely burial: excavations at Priory Crescent, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, 2003


Lyn Blackmore, Ian Blair, Sue Hirst and Christopher Scull


This internationally important, late 6th-century AD princely burial was discovered in 2003 at Prittlewell, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, within an existing early Anglo-Saxon cemetery. Detailed research, scientific analyses and investigative conservation since have produced exciting new information, enabling the reconstruction of the large wooden chamber grave and the coffin of a man buried with small gold crosses, suggesting that he was a Christian. The lavishly furnished chamber included an astonishing array of grave goods – some still hanging on the chamber walls – indicating that he was of the highest status and that the East Saxon kingdom where he lived had contacts with Kent, Merovingian Francia and the Christian Mediterranean world. This research was funded by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Historic England.

MOLA Monograph Series 73

MOLA 2019 ISBN 978-1-907586-50-7 Hb 514pp 339 bl/wh and col ills

Objects from the burial chamber are on display at Southend Central Museum from May 2019; explore the chamber for yourself at www.prittlewellprincelyburial.orgThe digital site archive and selected digital post-excavation archives are available online at the Archaeology Data Service hereAs well as producing this detailed academic monograph, we have also summarised the research results in a popular book, The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell, Southend-on-Sea.


Outstanding scholarship and attractive illustration characterise the monograph of the royal burial at Prittlewell. The results ... of painstaking research ... are profound for understanding of the East Saxon kingdom and early England. 
Chris Fern in British Archaeology 2019