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Southwark ( ) is a
district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or counties, several municipalities, subdivisions of ...
of
Central London Central London (also known less commonly as London city centre) is the innermost part of London, in England, spanning several London borough, boroughs. Over time, a number of definitions have been used to define the scope of Central London for s ...
situated on the south bank of the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of E ...
, forming the north-western part of the wider modern
London Borough of Southwark The London Borough of Southwark ( ) in south London forms part of Inner London and is connected by bridges across the River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through sout ...
. The district, which is the oldest part of South London, developed due to its position at the southern end of the early versions of
London Bridge Several bridges named London Bridge have spanned the River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London London is the capital city, ...

London Bridge
, the only crossing point for many miles. London’s historic core, the
City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It con ...
lay north of the Bridge and for centuries the area of Southwark just south of the bridge was governed by the City. By the 12th century Southwark had been incorporated as an
ancient borough The ancient boroughs were a historic unit of lower-tier local government in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. ...
, and this historic status is reflected in the alternative name of the area, or at least part of it, as Borough. In the middle ages, not far from the bridge was the Liberty of the Clink, which was just beyond the City's jurisdiction, allowing for more relaxed governance and an area of sometimes disreputable entertainment, nightlife and theatre. The urban area expanded over the years and Southwark was separated from the City in 1900 and a separate Diocese of Southwark was established in 1905. Local points of interest include
Southwark Cathedral Southwark Cathedral ( ) or The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark Southwark ( ) is a district of Central London situated on the south bank of the River Thames, forming the north-western part of the w ...
, Shakespeare's Globe theatre, The Shard,
Tower Bridge Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in ...
and the City Hall offices of the
Greater London Authority The Greater London Authority (GLA), known colloquially as City Hall, is the devolved regional governance body of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the Uni ...
.


History


Toponymy

The name ''Suthriganaweorc'' or ''Suthringa geweorche'' is recorded for the area in the 10th-century
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea ...
document known as the '' Burghal Hidage'' and means "fort of the men of
Surrey Surrey () is a county in South East England which borders Kent to the east, East Sussex to the southeast, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast. With about 1.2 mill ...

Surrey
" or "the burh, defensive work of the men of Surrey". Southwark is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as ''Sudweca''. The name means "southern defensive work" and is formed from the Old English ''sūþ'' (south) and ''weorc'' (work). The southern location is in reference to the
City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It con ...
to the north, Southwark being at the southern end of London Bridge. In Old English,
Surrey Surrey () is a county in South East England which borders Kent to the east, East Sussex to the southeast, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast. With about 1.2 mill ...

Surrey
means "southern district (or the men of the southern district)", so the change from "southern district work" to the latter "southern work" may be an evolution based on the elision of the single syllable ''ge'' element, meaning district.


Rome

File:Stelalondon.jpg, Museum of London, inscription on a stele that mentions 'Londoners' for the first time Southwark is sited on a once slightly marshy area south of the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of E ...
. Recent excavation has revealed prehistoric activity including evidence of early ploughing, burial mounds and ritual activity. Much of the district was, in pre-Roman years, a series of tidal islands in the Thames, formalised into ditches such as the so-called River Neckinger. It was at the lowest bridging point of the Thames in Roman Britain, providing a crossing from Londinium, and for centuries had the only Thames bridge in the area, until a bridge was built upstream more than to the west. This formed the best place to bridge the Thames and the area became an important part of Londinium, owing its importance to its position as the endpoint of the Roman London Bridge. Two Roman roads, Stane Street (Chichester), Stane Street and Watling Street, met at Southwark in what is now Borough High Street. Archaeological work at Tabard Street in 2004 discovered a plaque with the earliest reference to 'Londoners' from the Roman period on it. Londinium was abandoned at the end of the Roman occupation in the early 5th century and both the city and its bridge collapsed in decay. The settlement at Southwark, like the main settlement of London to the north of the bridge, had been more or less abandoned by the end of the fourth century.


Saxons and Vikings

Southwark appears to recover only during the time of King Alfred the Great, Alfred and his successors. Sometime about 886, the ''burh'' of Southwark was created and the Roman city area reoccupied. It was probably fortified to defend the bridge and hence the reemerging
City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It con ...
to the north. This defensive role is highlighted by the use of the bridge in 1016 as a defence against King Sweyn and his son King Cnut the Great, Cnut by Ethelred the Unready and again, in 1066, against Duke William the Conqueror. He failed to force the bridge during the Norman conquest of England, but Burning of Southwark, Southwark was devastated.


Medieval period

At Domesday, the area's assets were: Bishop Odo of Bayeux held the monastery (the site of modern
Southwark Cathedral Southwark Cathedral ( ) or The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark Southwark ( ) is a district of Central London situated on the south bank of the River Thames, forming the north-western part of the w ...
) and the tideway, which still exists as St Mary Overie dock; the King owned the church (probably St Olave's Church, Southwark, St Olave's) and its tidal stream (St Olave's Dock); the dues of the waterway or mooring place were shared between King William the Conqueror, William I and Earl Godwin, Earl of Wessex, Godwin; the King also had the toll of the strand; and 'men of Southwark' had the right to 'a haw and its toll'. Southwark's value to the King was Pound sterling, £16. Much of Southwark was originally owned by the church – the greatest reminder of monastic London is
Southwark Cathedral Southwark Cathedral ( ) or The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark Southwark ( ) is a district of Central London situated on the south bank of the River Thames, forming the north-western part of the w ...
, originally the priory of St Mary Overie. During the early Middle Ages, Southwark (UK Parliament constituency), Southwark developed and was one of the four Surrey towns which returned Members of Parliament of England, Parliament for the first House of Commons (United Kingdom), commons assembly in 1295. An important market occupied the High Street from some time in the 13th century, which was controlled by the city's officers—it was later removed in order to improve traffic to the Bridge, under a separate Trust by Act of Parliament of 1756 as the Borough Market on the present site. The area was renowned for its inns, especially The Tabard, from which Geoffrey Chaucer's pilgrims set off on their journey in ''The Canterbury Tales''. The continuing defensive importance of London Bridge was demonstrated by its important role in thwarting Jack Cade's Rebellion in 1450, and in resisting the Siege of London (1471), Siege of London by the Thomas Neville (died 1471), Bastard of Fauconberg in 1471.


Post-medieval

Just west of the Bridge was the Liberty of the Clink manor, which was never controlled by the city, but was held under the Bishopric of Winchester's nominal authority. This area therefore became the entertainment district for London, with attractions such as bull-baiting, bull and bear-baiting. It also hosted a concentration of brothels. In the 1580s, Reasonable Blackman worked as a silk weaver in Southwark, as one of the first people of African heritage to work as independent business owners in London in that era. In 1587, Southwark's first playhouse theatre, The Rose (theatre), The Rose, opened. The Rose was set up by Philip Henslowe, and soon became a popular place of entertainment for all classes of Londoners. Both Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare, two of the finest writers of the Elizabethan age, worked at the Rose. In 1599 the Globe Theatre, in which Shakespeare was a shareholder, was erected on the Bankside in the Liberty of the Clink. It burned down in 1613, and was rebuilt in 1614, only to be closed by the Puritans in 1642 and subsequently pulled down not long thereafter. A modern replica called Shakespeare's Globe, has been built near the original site. The impresario in the later Elizabethan period for these entertainments was Shakespeare's colleague Edward Alleyn, who left many local charitable endowments, most notably Dulwich College. On 26 May 1676, ten years after the Great Fire of London, a great fire broke out, which continued for 17 hours before houses were blown up to create fire breaks. King Charles II of England, Charles II and his brother, James II of England, James, Duke of York, oversaw the effort. There was also a famous fair in Southwark which took place near the Church of St George the Martyr, Southwark, St George the Martyr. William Hogarth depicted this fair in his engraving of ''Southwark Fair'' (1733). Southwark was also the location of several prisons, including those of the Crown or Prerogative Courts, the Marshalsea Prison, Marshalsea and King's Bench Prison, King's Bench prisons, those of the local manors' courts, e.g., Borough Compter, The Clink and the Surrey county gaol originally housed at the White Lion Inn (also informally called the Borough Gaol) and eventually at Horsemonger Lane Gaol. One other local family is of note, the Harvards. John Harvard (clergyman), John Harvard went to the local parish free school of St Saviour's and on to Cambridge University. He migrated to the Massachusetts Colony and left his library and the residue of his will to the new college there, named after him as its first benefactor. Harvard University maintains a link, having paid for a memorial chapel within Southwark Cathedral (his family's parish church), and where its UK-based alumni hold services. John Harvard's mother's house is in Stratford-upon-Avon.


Urbanisation

In 1836 the first railway in the London area was created, the London and Greenwich Railway, originally terminating at Spa Road railway station, Spa Road and later extended west to London Bridge station, London Bridge. In 1861, another great fire in Southwark destroyed a large number of buildings between Tooley Street and the Thames, including those around Hays Wharf (later replaced by Hays Galleria) and blocks to the west almost as far as St Olave's Church, Southwark, St Olave's Church. The first deep-level underground tube line in London was the City and South London Railway, now the Bank branch of the Northern line, opened in 1890, running from King William Street tube station, King William Street south through Borough tube station, Borough to Stockwell station, Stockwell. Southwark, since 1999, is also now served by Southwark tube station, Southwark, Bermondsey tube station, Bermondsey and London Bridge stations on the Jubilee line.


Administrative history

Southwark is thought to have become a burh in 886. The area appears in the ''Domesday Book'' of 1086 within the Hundred (county division), hundred of Brixton (hundred), Brixton as held by several
Surrey Surrey () is a county in South East England which borders Kent to the east, East Sussex to the southeast, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast. With about 1.2 mill ...

Surrey
Manor house, manors.Open Domesday Online: Southwark
accessed July 2018.
The ancient borough of Southwark, enfranchised in 1295, initially consisted of the pre-existing
Surrey Surrey () is a county in South East England which borders Kent to the east, East Sussex to the southeast, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast. With about 1.2 mill ...

Surrey
parishes of Southwark St George the Martyr, St George the Martyr, Southwark St Olave, St Olave, Southwark St Margaret, St Margaret and Southwark St Mary Magdalen, St Mary. St Margaret and St Mary were abolished in 1541 and their former area combined to create Southwark St Saviour. Around 1555 Southwark St Thomas was split off from St Olave, and in 1733 Southwark St John Horsleydown was also split off. In 1855 the parishes came into the area of responsibility of the Metropolitan Board of Works. The large St George the Martyr parish was governed by its own administrative vestry, but the smaller St John Horsleydown, St Olave and St Thomas parishes were grouped together to form the St Olave District (Metropolis), St Olave District. St Saviour was combined with Southwark Christchurch (the former liberty of Paris Garden) to form the St Saviour's District (Metropolis), St Saviour's District. In 1889 the area became part of the new County of London. St Olave and St Thomas were combined as a single parish in 1896. The ancient borough of Southwark, was traditionally known simply as The Borough—or Borough, to distinguish it from 'The City', and this name has persisted as an alternative name for the area. The medieval heart of Southwark was also, simultaneously, referred to as the Wards of the City of London, ward of Bridge Without when administered by the city (from 1550 to 1900) and as an aldermanry until 1978. The local government arrangements were reorganised in 1900 with the creation of the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark. It comprised the parishes of Southwark Christchurch, Southwark St Saviours, Southwark St George the Martyr and Newington, London, Newington. The Metropolitan Borough of Southwark was based at Walworth Town Hall. The eastern parishes that had formed the St Olave District instead became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey. In 1965 the two boroughs were combined with the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell to form the current
London Borough of Southwark The London Borough of Southwark ( ) in south London forms part of Inner London and is connected by bridges across the River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through sout ...
.


Relationship with the City of London

Southwark was outside of the control of the City of London and was a haven for criminals and free traders, who would sell goods and conduct trades outside the regulation of the city's Livery Company, Livery Companies. In 1327 the City obtained control from King Edward III of England, Edward III of the manor next to the south side of London Bridge known as the Town of Southwark (called latterly the Guildable Manor—i.e., the place of taxes and tolls). The Livery Companies also ensured that they had jurisdiction over the area. From the Norman period manorial organisation obtained through major lay and ecclesiastic magnates. Southwark still has vestiges of this because of the connection with the City of London. In 1327 the city acquired from Edward III the original vill of Southwark and this was also described as "the borough". In 1536 Henry VIII of England, Henry VIII acquired the Bermondsey Priory properties and in 1538 that of the Archbishop. In 1550 these were sold to the city. After many decades of petitioning, in 1550 Southwark was incorporated into the City of London as the ward of Bridge Without. However, the Alderman was appointed by the Court of Aldermen and no Common Councilmen were ever elected. This ward was constituted of the original Guildable Manor and the properties previously held by the church, under a charter of Edward VI of England, Edward VI, latterly called the King's Manor or Great Liberty. These manors are still constituted by the City under a Bailiff and Steward with their Courts Leet and View of Frankpledge Juries and Officers which still meet—their annual assembly being held in November under the present High Steward (the Recorder of London). The Ward and Aldermanry were effectively abolished in 1978, by merging it with the Ward of Bridge Within. These manorial courts were preserved under the Administration of Justice Act 1977. Therefore, between 1750 and 1978 Southwark had two persons (the Alderman and the Recorder) who were members of the city's Court of Aldermen and Common Council who were elected neither by the City freemen or by the Southwark electorate but appointed by the Court of Aldermen.


Contemporary governance and representation

The Borough and Bankside Community Council corresponds to the Southwark electoral wards of Cathedrals (ward), Cathedrals and Chaucer (Southwark ward), Chaucer. They are part of the Bermondsey and Old Southwark (UK Parliament constituency), Bermondsey and Old Southwark Parliament constituency whose Member of Parliament is Neil Coyle. It is within the Lambeth and Southwark (London Assembly constituency), Lambeth and Southwark London Assembly constituency. Southwark is the location of City Hall (London), City Hall, the administrative headquarters of the
Greater London Authority The Greater London Authority (GLA), known colloquially as City Hall, is the devolved regional governance body of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the Uni ...
and the meeting place of the London Assembly and Mayor of London. Since 2009, Southwark London Borough Council has its main offices at 160 Tooley Street, having moved administrative staff from the Camberwell Town Hall, London, Camberwell Town Hall.


Geography and attractions

In common with much of the South Bank, south bank of the Thames, the Borough has seen extensive regeneration in the last decade. Declining wharfage trade, light industry and factories have given way to residential development, shops, restaurants, galleries, bars and most notably major office developments housing international headquarters of accountancy, legal and other professional services consultancies, most notably along London Bridge City and More London between Tooley Street and the riverside. The area is in easy walking distance of the City of London, City and the West End of London, West End. As such it has become a major business centre with many national and international corporations, professional practices and publishers locating to the area. London's tallest skyscraper, the Shard, is next to London Bridge Station. To the north is the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of E ...
, London Bridge station and
Southwark Cathedral Southwark Cathedral ( ) or The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark Southwark ( ) is a district of Central London situated on the south bank of the River Thames, forming the north-western part of the w ...
. Borough Market is a well-developed visitor attraction and has grown in size. The adjacent units have been converted and form a gastronomic focus for London. Borough High Street runs roughly north to south from London Bridge towards Elephant and Castle. The Borough runs further to the south than realised; both St George's Cathedral, Southwark, St George's Cathedral and the Imperial War Museum are within the ancient boundaries, which border nearby Lambeth. Its entertainment district, in its heyday at the time of William Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (which stood 1599–1642) has revived in the form of the post-1997 reinvention of the original theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, incorporating other smaller theatre spaces, an exhibition about Shakespeare's life and work and which neighbours Vinopolis and the London Dungeon. The Southbank, London, Southbank area, primarily in Lambeth but shared with Southwark also hosts many artistic venues. At its heart is the area known as Borough, which has an eclectic covered and semi-covered market and numerous food and drink venues as well as the skyscraper The Shard. The Borough is generally an area of mixed development, with council estates, major office developments, social housing and high value residential gated community, gated communities side by side with each other. Another landmark is
Southwark Cathedral Southwark Cathedral ( ) or The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark Southwark ( ) is a district of Central London situated on the south bank of the River Thames, forming the north-western part of the w ...
, a priory then parish church, created a cathedral in 1905, noted for its Southwark Cathedral Merbecke Choir, Merbecke Choir. The area at an advanced stage of regeneration and has the City Hall (London), City Hall offices of the
Greater London Authority The Greater London Authority (GLA), known colloquially as City Hall, is the devolved regional governance body of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the Uni ...
.


Transport

The area has three main tube stations: Borough tube station, Borough, Southwark tube station, Southwark nearby and one close to the river which is combined with a major railway station above, London Bridge station, London Bridge.


See also

* Southwark, Philadelphia


Notes and references

;References ;Notes


Further reading

* *


External links

* * Digital Public Library of America
Works related to Southwark
various dates {{authority control Districts of the London Borough of Southwark Areas of London Districts of London on the River Thames Market towns in Surrey History of the City of London