The Garden Guide

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

Borough High Street 2

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In Lant Street, the next turning on the right out of the High St., lodged Charles Dickens as a boy, while his father was in the Marshalsea and he himself worked in Hungerford Market. Here, too, lodged Bob Sawyer, the medical student in 'Pickwick' in a house now replaced by the so-called 'Dickens' school. To the north of Great Suffolk St., the next turning on the right, once lay Suffolk House, a palace built by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, for his bride Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VII. and ex-queen of France. Henry VIII. used the building as a mint. Later it became a sanctuary for debtors, but this privilege was abolished in the reign of George I. Trinity St., opposite Great Suffolk St., leads to Trinity Square and Trinity Church, on the green in front of which is a toilorn old statue, traditionally said to represent King Alfred but known by the local children as 'David ' or 'Father Trinity.' To the right, in Southwark Bridge Road, which crosses Great Suffolk St. and connects Southwark Bridge with the Elephant and Castle, are the Headquarters of the London Fire Brigade. Known as the Metropolitan Fire Brigade until 1904, this force is now administered by the London County Council. It includes 2000 officers and men, besides clerical and ambulance staffs; and has 65 firestations (3 on the river) and 200 motor fire-appliances, besides 3 firefloats. In 1924 the brigade attended 7111 fires, of which 35 were serious. The annual cost of maintenance is about �780,000, of which about a sixth is contributed by Government and the principal insurance offices. To the south-east from St. George's Church runs Great Dover Street, on No. 75 in which is a tablet to C. H. Spurgeon, who lived here in 1854-56. It is continued by the Old Kent Road, the main road to Greenwich and Dover, famous for its costermongers. Near the Bricklayers' Arms, at the junction of Old and New Kent Roads, David Copperfield sold his waistcoat to Mr. Dolloby for 9d.