It was originally Southend library before it moved in 1974 to the brutalist-style concrete-faced building to the left of it. It was first built in 1905 as a free library and still features much of its early Edwardian Victorian-style architecture both inside and out having been relativley unchanged. It houses both recent and ancient historic artefacts, natural history seen in their new ‘Spirit Labs’ exhibition, and historic room layouts that I find fascinating as time-capsules into the past. The planetarium was built in 1984 by astronomer Harry Ford. It also features a bee-nest upstairs that has been there for as far as I remember visiting as a young child.