THE remains of a Saxon King found in Prittlewell are set to be housed in Southend Central Museum.

Months after dropping plans for a new £55million museum on the seafront, the council, which spent £2.2million on the failed scheme, is now planning to exhibit the priceless artefacts in the town’s existing museum in Victoria Avenue.

Councillor Lesley Salter, cabinet member for culture, said: “The council has submitted a planning application to seek listed building consent for some minor alterations to the interior set-up.

“These alterations are needed to enable us to fulfil our long-held ambition to display the Saxon finds - arguably one of the most important Anglo-Saxon burials found in the UK – and tell their fascinating story.”

Basildon Standard:

Archaeologists discovered about 110 artefacts in the burial chamber of a Saxon King during excavation for a road widening scheme in Priory Crescent in 2003.

After ditching plans for a state-of-the-art regional museum – to be known as The Thames Estuary Experience – James Courtenay, deputy leader of the council indicating a new museum may be located in the High Street.

A spokesman for the campaign group, Saxon King in Priory Park, which proposed the construction of a museum in Priory Park, said: “The Central Museum is one of the much unappreciated jewels in what is left of Southend’s heritage crown, however, due to its size limitations it is simply unable to support an exhibition of anything more than a fraction of the Saxon King’s treasures and as such it would only ever be a temporary stop gap solution.

“Furthermore, simply displaying the King’s treasures in glass cabinets over a mile from the grave site may allow them to be seen at last but it would crucially be missing out on the massive economic and educational potential which the treasures provide.”

The spokesman added: “SKIPP would support the council in the creation of a temporary exhibition in the Central Museum but we will continue to actively seek the creation of a Saxon Great Hall Museum and interactive educational experience built in Priory Park.”