FASCINATING artefacts from a 17th Century shipwreck at the bottom of the Thames Estuary near Southend Pier are being put on display.

The Central Museum, in Victoria Avenue, is hosting the items from ship The London.

The vessel is identified in Samuel Pepys Diary as part of the fleet which brought Charles II back to England for the restoration of the monarchy.

In 1665, tragedy hit the warship when it exploded in the Thames Estuary, killing 300 people.

Get more great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day by signing up to our morning newsletter - don't miss out!


Some of the finds were displayed in an exhibition the museum curated in 2017 but they haven’t been on display since.

This display also has a new globe bottle and some rope which have not been displayed before.

Other items on display include a pewter spoon, pewter button, sundial and dividers.

Ciara Phipps, director of Southend Museums, said: “We have a selection of artefacts on display from the London wreck collection which is now in Southend Museums Archaeology collection after time away for a considerable conservation and research project that was undertaken by Historic England.


“This collection is very important for Southend Museums and the city of Southend, given the significance of the London wreck and the stories this wreck has been able to tell us about 17th century naval warships through the excavation and conservation that has been undertaken through the years.

“The collection has now been returned to Southend Museums, so it was important for us to put a small selection of finds on display, providing access to our community.


London Road Westcliff to see six weeks of roadworks


“For now, this beautiful new display will be a permanent fixture of the museum to compliment the 12ft cannon we already have on display from the London which is here in the central museum atrium.”

The display opened on Friday and will be on show for the foreseeable future.

The wreck was partially excavated between 2014 to 2016, with finds including leather shoes, glass bottles, and an incredibly rare and extremely well-preserved 355-year old wooden gun carriage which was raised from the seabed.

The ship blew up when gunpowder on board caught fire as the ship was en route to collect supplies to take part in the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665-67.

The London is currently on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register, due to its ongoing erosion.