Learn more about Southwark
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|OS grid reference:||TQ325795|
|County level:||Greater London|
|Sovereign state:||United Kingdom|
|Ceremonial county:||Greater London|
|Historic county:||Surrey (1889)|
|Police force:||Metropolitan Police|
|Fire brigade:||London Fire Brigade|
|Ambulance service:||London Ambulance|
|Post office and telephone|
|UK Parliament:||North Southwark and Bermondsey|
|London Assembly:||Lambeth and Southwark|
|London | List of places in London|
Southwark or The Borough is an area of the London Borough of Southwark situated 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east south-east of Charing Cross in London, England. From 1550 to 1899 it formed part of the City of London as the Ward of Bridge Without.
It has been called The Borough since the 1550s, to contrast it with the neighbouring City, in later years to distinguish it from the larger Metropolitan Borough of Southwark and now to distinguish it from the much larger London Borough of Southwark.
Much of the area around the Tate Modern gallery and the Globe Theatre is now referred to by the historic name of Bankside, which was part of the Liberty of the Clink, rather than 'the Borough' but was part of Southwark because within the parish of St Saviour.
In common with much of the south bank of the Thames, The Borough has seen extensive regeneration in the last decade. Declining light industry and factories have given way to residential development, shops, restaurants, galleries and bars. The area is in easy walking distance of the City and the 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. These include London Bridge City, More London and the Pilar Piano Tower to be erected over London Bridge Station.
To the north is the River Thames, London Bridge station and Southwark Cathedral. Borough Market is a well-developed visitor attraction and has grown in size. The adjacent units have been converted and form a gastonomic focus for London. Borough High Street runs roughly north to south from London Bridge towards Elephant and Castle.
The Borough is generally an area of mixed development, with council estates, major office developments, social housing and high value residential gated communities side by side with each other.
 Early history
Southwark is on a previously marshy area south of the River Thames. Recent excavation has revealed prehistoric activity including evidence of early ploughing, burial mounds and ritual activity. The area was originally a series of islands in the River Thames. 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 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 'London' from the Roman period on it.
Londinium was abandoned at the end of the Roman occupation in the early fifth century and it and its bridge collapsed in decay. Archaeologically, evidence of settlement is replaced by a largely featureless soil called the Dark Earth which probably (although this is contested) represents an urban area abandoned.
Southwark appears to recover only during the time of King Alfred and his successors. Sometime in and around 886 AD the 'burh' of Southwark was created and the Roman City area reoccupied. Southwark was referred to as 'Suthringa Geweorc' in the document the Burghal Hidage, meaning the 'defensive works of the men of Surrey'. It was probably fortified to defend the bridge and hence the re-emerging City of London to the north. This defensive role is highlighted by the use of the Bridge as a defence against King Swein, his son King Cnut in 1016 by King Aethelred 'the Unready' and in 1066, against King William the Conqueror. He failed to force the Bridge during the Norman conquest of England, but Southwark was devastated.
Much of Southwark was originally owned by the church - the greatest reminder of monastic London is Southwark Cathedral, originally the priory of St Mary Overy.
During the early Middle Ages, Southwark developed and was one of the four Surrey towns which returned Members of Parliament for the first commons assembly in 1295. Southwark remained outside of the control of the City and was a haven for criminals and free traders, who would sell goods and conduct trades outside the regulation of the City Livery Companies. In 1327 the City obtained control from Edward III, of the manor next to the south-side of London Bridge (called latterly 'Guildable Manor', ie the place of taxes and tolls). The Livery Companies also ensured that they had jurisdiction over the area. An important market occupied the High Street, which was controlled by the City's officers -(later removed, 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 high street market was established there some time in the 13th century. The area was renowned for its inns, especially The Tabard, from which Chaucer's pilgrims set off on their journey in The Canterbury Tales.
 Post 1500
After many decades' 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, latterly called the 'King's Manor' and 'Great Liberty' manor. 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. Just west of the Bridge was the 'Clink Liberty' manor, which was never controlled by the City, technically held under the Bishopric of Winchester's nominal authority. This area therefore became the entertainment district for London, and it was also the red-light area. In 1584 Southwark was given its first playhouse theatre, The Rose. The Rose was set up by a famous local businessman , Philip Henslowe, and it soon became a very 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, William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre was erected on the Bankside in the Clink Liberty, though it burned down in 1613. A modern replica, also called the Globe, has been built near the original site. Southwark was also a favorite area for entertainment like bull and bear-baiting. The impressario in the later Elizabethan period for these was Shakespeare's colleague Edward Alleyn, who left many local charitable endowments, most notably Dulwich College. There was also a famous fair in Southwark which took place near the Church of St. George the Martyr. William Hogarth depicted this fair in his engraving of Southwark Fair (1733).
One other local family is of note - the Harvards. John Harvard went to the local parish free school of St Saviour's and on to Cambridge. He migrated to the Massachusetts Colony and left his library and residue of his Will to the new college, named after him as its first benefactor. The University of Harvard maintains a link, having paid for a memorial chapel within Southwark Cathedral (his family's parish church) and where their UK based alumni hold services.
In 1861 the Great Fire of Southwark destroyed a large number of buildings between Tooley Street and the Thames, including those around Hays Wharf, where Hays Galleria was later built, and blocks to the west almost as far as St Olave's Church.
The first deep level London 'tube' underground line was 'The City and Southwark Railway', now the City Branch of the Northern Line, opened in 1890, running from King William Street through borough to Kennington.
In 1899 Southwark was incorporated along with Newington and Walworth into the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark, and in 1965 this was incorporated with the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell and Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey into the London Borough of Southwark.
 External links
- City of Southwark
- Anchor Brewery
- Arts and Entertainment
- Henry Thrale was Member of Parliament for Southwark between 1765 - 1780
- Southwark and Bermondsey Conservatives
- Southwark and the Crossbones Graveyard - from Blather.net
- Southwark and William Shakespeare
- Southwark Cathedral
- Take me to the Southwark Fair: William Hogarth's Snapshot of the Life and Times of England's Migrating Early 18th Century Poor
- Rose Theatreno:Southwark