The Garden Guide

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


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35. SOUTHWARK. Camberwell. Bermondsey. Rotherhithe. STATIONS. On the north bank of the Thames: Blackfriars and Monument, on the District Railway. On the south side: London Bridge, Borough, and Elephant and Castle, on the City and South London Tube; Elephant and Castle, on the Bakerloo Tube. London Bridge Terminus. TRAMWAYS from the Embankment and the south. OMNIBUSES Nos. 4, 45, 63, and 76 cross Blackfriars Bridge; Nos. 18 and 118 cross Southwark Bridge; Nos. 5A, 10A, 13, 20, 34, 107, 184, etc., cross London Bridge. Those who approach Southwark from the City, or those whose distaste for a walk through squalid and narrow streets is not outweighed by their interest in historical associations, may reach St. Saviour's direct via London Bridge. Southwark, stretching along the south bank of the Thames from Blackfriars Bridge to London Bridge, is one of the oldest parts of London. It was the site of a Roman settlement, and in the middle ages it was a borough of some importance owing to its position on the highroad from London to the south and the Continent. For 600 years it has returned two members to Parliament, and it is still known as the 'Borough' par excellence. Since 1531 Southwark has been included in the City of London as the Ward of Bridge Without, but it elects neither alderman nor councillors, being represented in the common council by the senior alderman of the time. St. Saviour's Church apart, very few old buildings have survived; little more than the names of a few streets and courts remain to remind us of the inns and hostels of Chaucer's time, the theatres and pleasure-haunts of Bankside that flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the prisons, hardly less numerous than the inns, that lingered until the 19th century. Southwark is now an industrial quarter and a centre of the hop trade. The parliamentary borough, which includes Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, had a population of 184,388 in 1921. From the West End the most direct approach to Southwark is via Blackfriars Bridge, the line of which is continued south to St. George's Circus by the modern thoroughfare of Blackfriars Road.