The Garden Guide

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

Elephant and Castle

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The Borough High St. is continued to the south by Newington Causeway, which ends at the Elephant and Castle, a modernized tavern at the junction of six important roads, the chief centre in South London for tramways, omnibuses, and tubes. In Newington Butts, a little to the south, is the Metropolitan Tabernacle (6000 seats), the slightly smaller successor of the tabernacle (burned down in 1898) in which C. H. Spurgeon (1834-92) preached. From the Elephant and Castle Walworth Road runs to the south-east, passing the Southwark Central Library, in which is the interesting Cuming Museum of paintings and antiquities (open Monday & Friday 12-9, Saturday 10-9, Sunday 6-9). Here is also Oliver Twist's copper. 'In Browning St. (formerly York St.), a turning on the left (east), is the chapel in which Robert Browning was baptized in 1812, now the headquarters of the Browning Settlement, which has a collection of Browning relics. Walworth Road is continued by Camberwell Road, which leads to Camberwell (population 267,235). From Camberwell Green, with its pleached limes, Church St. runs east past St. Giles', Church, on the outside of which are grotesque heads of noted modern statesmen. The east window was designed by Ruskin. Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) was born at 188 Camberwell Grove, the turning on the right before we reach St. Giles's. In Peckham Road, the continuation of Church St., is (No. 63; on the left) the SOUTH LONDON ART GALLERY. The gallery (open free daily, 3-10, Sunday 3-9; closed on Friday) contains a collection of prints by Honore Daumier, a cartoon by Ford Madox Brown, and a collection of porcelain, metal ware, and other antique objects of art. Robert Browning (1812-89) was born in Southampton St., the next turning on the left, but the house no longer exists. In Meeting House Lane, running north from Peckham High St., is the Meeting House (No. 180) used by William Penn before his incarceration in the Tower (1668). From Camberwell Green Denmark Hill runs south, passing King's College Hospital (775 beds), to Herne Hill. Ruskin Park (36 acres), on the right, beyond the hospital, commemorates in its name the long residence in this neighbourhood of John Ruskin: from 1823 to 1843 at No. 28 Herne Hill and from 1843 to 1871 at 163 Denmark Hill (now 'Ruskin Manor '), with the exception of a few years after his marriage in 1848, when he lived at 30 Herne Hill. Both the Herne Hill houses have disappeared. Close to Herne Hill Station is the attractive Brockwell Park (127 acres), with its fine old garden.