Named in the Domesday book as Pritte Wella, the original town was a group of simple huts near the present Priory Park. Evidence of Iron age, Roman settlements, and a pagan burial ground have been found in the area. The Priory dates back to the 12th century. The monks were responsible for the upkeep and the welfare of the villagers, until Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. In 1917 the park and priory buildings were donated to the town by R. A. Jones. Prittlewell was important when Southend was just a cluster of huts belonging to local fishermen, but gradually has been taken over by Southend. There have been considerable changes but some of its ancient buildings have been saved. This book tries to follow some of the many changes which have taken place over the years and remind us of its history, from the beginning of the Priory, through the war years, the sixties, until the present time.
Mavis Sipple has lived in or near Rochford from earliest childhood, Educated at North Street School in Leigh, then Westcliff High School for Girls, she qualified as a teacher at Brentwood College, She moved to Hawkwell and began her teaching career in Ashingdon.
After her marriage to Dennis and the birth of their son, Peter, she worked as a supply teacher in several of the secondary schools in the area.
Mavis joined a local writers group and then contributed short stories and articles to women's magazines, Tracing her family history led to her interest in local history and to her discovery of many fascinating local traditions and unusual objects on which she wrote articles published in various magazines, including Essex Countryside and The Lady; and three books on aspects of Essex history, folklore and traditions.
A member of the Leigh Society and a helper at the Heritage Museum, Mavis lives in Rochford, takes a keen interest in local community activities and is a member of one of the town's Wls and of the Rochford Historical Society.