The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 35 Southwark

Borough High Street

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To the south and west of St. Saviour's is the Borough Market, for vegetables. The BOROUGH HIGH STREET, which runs south from London Bridge, has from the earliest times been the great highway to the south-east of England and the Continent. It was the scene of countless processions and pageants in the middle ages, and it was trodden by the feet of many pilgrims to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury. It abounded in hostelries, the old buildings of which, however, have almost entirely disappeared. The courtyards of these inns were the favourite resort of jugglers and wandering minstrels, and later the earliest plays were performed there. Many of the houses and courts still bear the historic names. At the end of London Bridge the 'Bear,' frequented by Pepys, stood until 1761. On the left as we leave the bridge are Duke St., leading to Tooley St., and the approach to London Bridge Station. Opposite the building known as the Hop Exchange and Southwark St. diverges St. Thomas's Street. The church of St. Thomas, on the left, is a relic of the original St. Thomas's Hospital, which once stood here. In this vicinity lived Robert Harvard, the father of John Harvard (1607-38), who probably attended St. Olave's Grammar School, of which his father was a governor. A little farther on in St. Thomas's St. lies Guy's Hospital , founded in 1721 by Thomas Guy, a City bookseller, who made a fortune by his speculations in South Sea stock. The hospital, which has 626 beds and a medical school with 330 students, had nearly 128,000 out-patients in 1924. In that year its income was �130,000 and its expenditure over �146,000. F. D. Maurice was chaplain of the hospital in 1836-46, and John Keats studied here in 1815-16. There is a brazen statue of Thomas Guy by Scheemakers in the courtyard, and another (of marble) by Bacon marks his tomb, in the chapel, where also Sir Astley Cooper (died 1841), the surgeon, is interred.