Prittlewell in 1837
Prittlewell is in Rochford hundred, 39 miles from London, on the northern shore of the estuary of the Thames. Milton, now a hamlet of this parish, is said to have been anciently a distinct parish ; part of it has been swallowed up by the sea gaining on the land. Morant, writing near the middle of the last century, says, it had a church, or chapel of ease, the remains of which were visible not long ago at low-water mark. The village consists of two streets, on the slope of a hill, forming a right angle with each other, and having the church at the vertex on the summit of the hill. The church has a nave and chancel, a side aisle running the whole length of the building, and of nearly equal breadth with the nave. There is a fine western tower (in the Perpendicular English style) embattled, with strong buttresses and rich pinnacles : from its height and lofty situation it is a good sea-mark. There was once a priory of Cluniac monks here, cell to an alien priory of the same order at Lewes, in Sussex, but afterwards made independent : its yearly revenue at the dissolution was £194, 14 shillings and 3 pence gross, or £155, 11 shillings and 2 pence clear.
Southend is a hamlet of Prittlewell. It is pleasantly situated on the side of a wooded hill, and is in some repute as a bathing-place. The terrace, in what is commonly called New Southend, or the upper town, is a handsome range of buildings. There are a good hotel, an assembly-room (beside one at the hotel), a theatre, and a library, the last some what in the Gothic style. There is an Independent meeting-house. The population of the whole parish of Prittlewell was, in 1831, 2,266: nearly half agricultural.