TRAVEL back to Victorian times next weekend, to discover how the famous Scratton family of Southend celebrated the festive period, and meet their very special guest... Father Christmas himself.

It takes place on Saturday December 8 and Sunday December 9, at Prittlewell Priory, Southend.

In 1842 Daniel Robert Scratton inherited the Priory.

Together with his wife, Maria he renovated the buildings to provide a comfortable home.

In 1869 he moved to West Ogwell manor house in Devon, where he died in 1902.

It was only when William Howell Scratton purchased the Priory in 1887 that it truly became a family home.

The family created a walled kitchen garden, which originally had hot houses and a melon pit. This was on the site of the monks' burial ground. Today, it is an ornamental garden.

The Victorian extension of the priory, which once housed the bedrooms, now hosts an interactive display on the local wildlife.

For one weekend only, Father Christmas will be in this magical setting.

Advance booking is essential at

Please note, because the Priory is a historic building, no buggies are permitted inside. There will be a buggy park located inside the Visitor Centre.

The priory is in Priory Park, Victoria Avenue.