Southend central museum

There’s a church in Pitsea well on the way to Basildon, where they found evidence of human skin had been nailed to the front door, this was common practice in the dark ages when conquerors would kill anyone who stood in there way, they would then skin them and nail them to the door of the local church as a warning and to show they would not take prisoners. In the 11th or 12th century this church had a rector called Rainaldus. The church at this time had a way of absorbing the local customs and practices and incorporating them into Christianity.

Rainaldus was in the church with some local parishioners, they were trying to invoke an angel using their local ceremonies, and suddenly during the procedure a huge wind came through the church and blew out all the candles. Then there came three loud knocks on the north door. The north door is supposed to be the weakest point in a church and where the devil will try and enter. They ignored the sounds and carried on. A short while later there was another three knocks at the door so Rainaldus walk to the north door and opened it.

He looked out and there was no one there. As he walked back there was another huge gust of wind that swept Rainaldus up where he burst into flames. Once the smoke cleared the parishioner’s lit the candles but could find no evidence of Rainaldus, only on the floor lay a tiny, tiny coin in the shape of his head. This is called “the Coin of Rainaldus”

A Byeline to this story is that early European alchemist’s thought that “ The Coin of Rainaldus “ would allow them to change elements so they could turn coal into gold, so the strange ting is this coin in Southend Museum Collection.


THis story was first told to us by author Sid Moore. Roger Payne then confirmed {with a smile on his face) that the stone is in the collection of Southend Museum