Monday, 19 January 2015

Southwark & Bankside Walk 19th January 2015

On Monday the 19th January 2015 I decided to walk another of the walks from The "London's Hidden Walks" book and chose the "Southwark and Bankside Walk."
I arrive at London Bridge Station and exit out onto St Thomas Street, I cross the road and grab some breakfast in McDonalds before starting the walk.
After breakfast I walked down to the beginning of the road and stopped at St Thomas Church.


St. Thomas's Church probably originated as a chapel of the medieval hospital, but it is not known when it was first built on the present site. There was certainly a medieval church and it is known that one Richard Chaucer was buried there. Additions were made to the church in the early 17th-century, including the bell tower, but in 1697 the governors of the hospital argued that the church was so decayed that people were afraid to go inside. It was rebuilt by Thomas Cartwright in 1703. This houses the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret Museum. There is an admission charge to look around. I crossed the road and opposite is 8 St Thomas Street John Keats and Henry Stephens shared lodgings whilst here studying in 1815-1816.



The Shard

The Shard
 I walk a little further up the road and reach Guys Hospital. It is part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. It is a large teaching hospital and is, with St Thomas' Hospital and King's College Hospital, the location of King's College London School of Medicine.
Sir Thomas Guy Statue dated 1734
 The hospital was founded in 1721 by Thomas Guy, a publisher of unlicensed Bibles who had made a fortune in the South Sea Bubble. It was originally established as a hospital to treat "incurables" discharged from St Thomas' Hospital.
 On the right as I walk in is 18c The Guy's Chapel, Guy's Hospital Chapel houses the tomb of Thomas Guy (which can be seen by arrangement with The Revd Stephen Stavrou).  It is also the resting place of Astley Paston Cooper, the highly significant 19th-century surgeon and scientist, and other characters connected with the rich history of Guy's.



 A 1779 statue of Sir Thomas Guy holding the hand of one of the incurables the hospital was originally designed to help.

 I now leave the chapel and continue through the hospital grounds on the left is an alcove from the original London Bridge before the bridge was replaced in 1831. The old bridge had 14 alcoves, another alcove survives in Victoria Park Hackney. The alcove was bought by Guy for 10 guineas and put into the wall of the old "Lunatick House"that once stood here to provide some outdoor shelter for patients.

 I walk further on into the grounds of Kings College Campus.

 I walk through into Kings Head Yard. I was looking for the plaque that marks the site of The White Hart Inn immortalised by Shakespeare in Henry VI Part II and mentioned by Charles Dickens in The Pickwick Papers. The Inn was demolished in 1889. I couldn't find it and suspect it may have been behind a load of hoarding that was covering building work.
I did however come across the Beautiful George Inn now owned by The National Trust. This is the only surviving original galleried coaching inn in London.The yards of Borough  High Street were full of such inns,where travellers would stay the night before setting off the next day. Until the introduction of railways in the 19th century inns like this was common throughout the country,often spaced 10 miles apart so the horses pulling the stagecoaches and mail could be changed regularly.

 The George dates from 1677 replacing an earlier inn destroyed by fire.It is almost certain an inn has been here since Medieval times. During Shakespeares times, plays were staged in the courtyard.

 Charles Dickens mentions The George in his Book Little Dorrit (1857) . A copy of Dickens original life insurance policy is kept on the wall by the bar.




 Also in Kings Head Yard is a 19th century entrance to WH&HL& MAY HOP FACTORS,a legacy of the brewing and hop trading industry once important to the area.

 Back onto Borough High Street a short way up is Talbot Yard, where The Tabard Inn once stood.
Est in 1307 this Inn has long since gone.This was the inn where the Pilgrims gathered before setting off for Canterbury in Geoffrey Chaucers The Canterbury Tales, in the prologue Chaucer writes

Bifel that in that season on a day,
In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay
Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage
To Caunterbury with ful devout corage,
At nyght was come into that hostelrye
Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye
Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle
In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle,
That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde;
The chambres and the stables weren wyde,
And well we weren esed atte beste;.



 Further up Borough High Street  I can see St George The Martyr Church.

 Just before the church is a small public garden on my left, on the far side of the garden is the remains of a wall of the demolished Marshalsea Prison.
The Marshalsea (1373–1842) was a notorious prison in Southwark, London, just south of the River Thames. It housed a variety of prisoners over the centuries, including men accused of crimes at sea and political figures charged with sedition, but it became known, in particular, for its incarceration of the poorest of London's debtors. Over half the population of England's prisons in the 18th century were in jail because of debt
 The prison became known around the world in the 19th century through the writing of the English novelist Charles Dickens, whose father was sent there in 1824, when Dickens was 12, for a debt to a baker. Forced as a result to leave school to work in a factory, Dickens based several of his characters on his experience, most notably Amy Dorrit, whose father is in the Marshalsea for debts so complex no one can fathom how to get him out.
 I left the garden and cross over to St George The Martyr. The earliest record of the church is in The Annals of Bermondsey Priory, for the year 1122. It records the gift of the advowson of St George’s to the Priory by Thomas de Arderne and his son.Little or nothing is known about the original Norman church, which was rebuilt at the end on the 14th century. The second church appears on some early maps and drawings of Southwark and can be seen in William Hogarth’s picture of Southwark Fair in 1733. Almost immediately after this the church was again demolished and replaced with the current structure, consecrated in 1736.

 It is often referred to as Little Dorrits Church as as the heroine of the novel was christened here and later spends the night in the vestry after being locked out of the prison. Little Dorrit also married Arthur Clenman here.





More reference to Dickens in the area.
 I cross the road into Marshalsea Road and turn right onto Redcross Way, on the left a way up is a row of cottages and a garden. The Redcross Cottages were founded by Victorian reformer and social housing pioneer Octavia Hill (1838-1912),who was determined to help London's poor by giving them decent and affordable housing.
 Tenants seeking escape from the slums had to be careful as swearing or drinking could lead to eviction. Hill went on to from the Army Cadets and The National trust.




 I walk up Redcross way once more and pass where Janet Johnson lived.Pioneer worker lived at 39. She became the first woman Guardian of the poor in Southwark in 1888,devoting her life to the condition of poor workhouse internees.She became manager of the Central London School for orphans and destitute children at Hanwell,initiating humanitarian reforms with new ideas on education,clothing and diet.


 Across the road from here at Union Street is a 1907 building that once housed The Min t & Gospel Lighthouse Mission Shaftesbury Society. Its first president being the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, the great philanthropist and social reformer.


 I cross over Union Street and into Redcross Way to the site of Cross Bones Graveyard.
Cross Bones is a post medieval  disused burial ground. It is believed to have been established originally as an unconsecrated graveyard for "single women," a euphemism for prostitutes, known locally as "Winchester Geese," because they were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester to work within the Liberty of the Clink.They were excluded from Christian burials and forbidden the rites of the church so long as they continued with their sinful life's, unless they were reconciled before their death.


 It was closed in 1853 because it was "completely overcharged with dead," and further burials were deemed "inconsistent with a due regard for the public health and public decency.
Today the graveyard belongs to Transport For London and there is no public access. Local people have created a shrine to the Oucast Dead by tying ribbons and trinkets to the railings.



A excavation shows piles upon piles of bones upon each other.
 Opposite the graveyard is The Boot & Flogger wine bar. The only premises in the country allowed to sell wine without a licence. A privilege awarded to certain free vintners dating from Elizabethan times.The pubs name refers to a corking device in which a leather boot holds the bottle whilst the wooden flogger flogs in the cork.

 I walk under the railway bridge ahead and turn right onto Southwark Road.

 Up the road I come to The Hop Exchange.

 The Exchange opened in 1867,the hops bought and sold here were a crop that originally introduced to England from Holland and were added to beer to give that distinctive bitter taste and act as a preservative. Working class Cockneys would travel to Kent to work on the hop fields, the hops were then transferred to the many hop warehouses in Southwark.
 Today the Exchange is converted into many offices.

 I head back up Southwark Road and turn right just after the bridge back onto Redcross Way and then right onto Park Street.


Another reminder of the many breweries once in the area.
 Buildings in the Borough Market area that was used as a backdrop in Guy Ritches movie Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
 I pass Neals Yard Dairy, this made for a real pongy visit, but I do love my cheese. They buy cheese from about seventy cheesemakers from farms around Britain and Ireland. They sell this cheese in their two shops in London and to shops and restaurants all over the world.


 I now enter Borough Market.
Borough Market is London’s most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and international produce.
It is a haven for anybody who cares about the quality and provenance of the food they eat - chefs, restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks and people who just happen to love eating and drinking.

 It is London's oldest Fruit and veg market staring in the 13th century when the Southwark fair was held just South of London Bridge.The current buildings date from the 19th century.







The Globe. Built in 1872 and designed by renowned Victorian architect Henry Jarvis, the Globe is a distinctive Gothic-style building.
A warm, cosy, old-fashioned pub, it offers a decent range of real ales and lagers and some excellent wines

 By the market is Southwark Cathedral, this is the oldest gothic church in London.It was founded in the 9th century by St Swithun,Bishop Of Winchester as a college for priests.The present building retains the basic form of the Gothic structure built between 1220 and 1420, although the nave is a late 19th-century reconstruction.

 The Cathedral contains a memorial to Shakespeare  and also his brother and actor Edmund who was buried here.
 There was a service ongoing by the sounds of it,so I didnt enter. I have been here before anyway.

 I walk round to Overie Dock where there is a replica of The Golden Hinde ship.




 "Legend suggests that before the construction of London Bridge in the tenth century a ferry existed here. Ferrying passengers across the River Thames was a lucrative trade. John Overs who, with his watermen and apprentices, kept the "traverse ferrie over the Thames", made such a good living that he was able to acquire a considerable estate on the south bank of the river.

John Overs, a notorious miser, devised a plan to save money. He would feign death believing that his family and servants would fast out of respect and thereby save a day's provisions. However, when he carried out the plan, the servants were so overjoyed at his death that they began to feast and make merry. In a rage the old man leapt out of bed to the horror of his servants, one of whom picked up a broken oar and "thinking to kill the Devil at the first blow, actually struck out his brains".

The ferryman's distressed daughter Mary sent for her lover, who in haste to claim the inheritance fell from his horse and broke his neck. Mary was so overcome by these misfortunes that she devoted her inheritance to founding a convent into which she retreated.

This became the priory of Saint Mary Overie, Mary having been made a saint on account of her charity. During the Reformation the church of St Mary Overie was renamed St Saviour's Church. In 1905 it became Southwark Cathedral and the collegiate church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie."

 I now walk onto Winchester Palace. Built in the early 13th century as a home to the powerful Bishops of Winchester, now all that remains of the once prominent and lavish residence are a few walls of the Great Hall.
Although mostly destroyed by fire in 1814, the remaining ruins hint at the magnificence of the palace as it once must have appeared, standing formally alongside the south bank of the Thames. Today visitors can explore the extensive site, which also housed a number of other buildings such as a prison, brew-house and butchery, and view the impressive architecture of the remaining walls - including a magnificent rose window that adorns the west gable. 

 The Bishop Of Winchester owned land that included 20 brothels in the area,these were licensed by the church, much of the regulation set out under ordinances of 1161 signed by Thomas a Becket.These church run brothels ran for 500 years before the puritans put an end to many of them.


How the palace once looked

 I now come up to The Clink Museum. Been past many times before but today I thought sod it I'm going in and coughed up the £7.50 entry fee.


In 1129, Henry of Blois, brother to King Stephen (and grandson to William the Conqueror) was invested Bishop of Winchester, and became second in power only to the King himself. His Thames fronted residence, Winchester Palace (of which The Rose Window of the Great Hall is still visible today), was completed in 1144 and contained two prisons within the palace grounds: one for men, and one for women. Thus Bankside became subject to the laws of ‘The Liberty (or jurisdiction) of the Bishop of Winchester’ (later the ‘Liberty of The Clink’) and was governed accordingly.
The name ‘Clink’ seems to have been attached to the prison in the 14th century. One of the most commonly argued derivatives is that of the sound of the blacksmith’s hammer closing the irons around the wrists or ankles of the prisoners, although the Flemish word ‘klink’ meaning ‘latch’ (perhaps referring to the latch on the gaol door) could also have influenced its attachment. Whatever the etymology, the prison subsequently bequeathed this name to all others, resulting in the development of the expression, "to be thrown in The Clink."

During its remarkably long span, besides the usual drunken vagrants, vagabonds and other seemingly petty criminals, The Clink also housed more historically significant criminals. Famous examples include Sir Thomas Wyatt The Younger (son of the Renaissance poet of the same name), who rebelled against Queen ‘Bloody’ Mary I; John Rogers, the man responsible for translating the Bible into English from Latin during the reign of the aforementioned Roman Catholic Queen; Royalist supporters during the English Civil War, and Puritans who went on to become the first Pilgrim Fathers, settlers of the New World in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts in the United States.
Throughout this long existence, The Clink did not remain unscathed however; several attempts to destroy the prison were enacted through rebellion, such as during the Peasant’s Revolt in 1381, or during Jack Cade’s rebellion of 1450, both of which resulted in the rebuilding of The Clink, with the latter resulting in a new, two-storey men’s prison on the site of what is now The Clink Prison Museum. It endured until 1780, when Lord George Gordon, dissatisfied with the favours granted upon Catholics during the ‘Papists Act’ as a result of the American War of Independence, assembled The Protestant Association and broke into The Clink, releasing all of the prisoners and burning the building to the ground.
The Clink was never rebuilt, and as somewhat of a happy postscript, none of the prisoners seem to have ever been recaptured. Today, all that remains of Bankside’s once most notorious prison is the stonework of Winchester Palace, the passage ‘Clink Street’ and that which has been preserved within The Clink Prison Museum, including an original wall.


















 During the reign of Elizabeth I many puritans were harshly treated under suspicion of plotting to overthrow the Queen. Some were thrown in The Clink,often starved to death. However some survived and travelled on The Mayflower to America in 1620.The Clink was burned down in the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780 and never re-opened.



I left The Clink after being released and walked onto The Anchor Public House.This dates from the 18th century and contains cubby holes orignally used to hide from those wanting to throw them in The Clink.
Both The Anchor and the former Castle and Hoop Inn were once used as brothels.

 I walk over into Park Street where a plaque marks the site of Barclay Perkins Brewery,which in its heyday claimed to be the largest brewery in the world.Founded in 1781 it was overtaken by Courage in 1955 and finally closd in the 1980s.

 Further along Park Street I come to the site of The Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, on land owned by Thomas Brend and inherited by his son, Nicholas Brend and grandson Sir Matthew Brend, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613.A second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by June 1614 and closed in 1642.





Financial Times Offices
 Further along Park Street I come to The Rose Playhouse. Built in 1587 by Philip Henslowe, this was the first theatre built in the area. The Rose was small in size compared to The Globe and due to being unpopular it closed in 1606.

 I turn right onto Bear Gardens where Shakespeare lived while he worked at The Globe. At the end of Bear Gardens is The Ferrymans seat.
This was inserted in a modern building just before the Thames. The date of the seat in unknown but was taken from a older building and is thought to have been used by ferryman who worked the Thames. Until 1750 London Bridge was the only major crossing so the ferryman was an essential service for Londoners.



 I now turn left and pass the reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. This has guided tours and puts on plays.

 Next to The Globe is Cardinals Wharf. Cardinal’s Wharf isn’t usually on a tourist’s checklist of things to see in London. However, inevitably a large proportion of visitors will pass by it while on the way to the Globe or Tate Modern
 ‘Here lived Sir Christopher Wren during the building of St Paul’s Cathedral. Here also, in 1502, Catherine Infanta of Castile and Aragon, afterwards first queen of Henry VIII, took shelter on her first landing in London.’

 It is believed the name Cardinal’s Wharf comes from the Cardinal Wolsey (1473-1530), who was the Bishop of Winchester in 1529 and would have stayed at the nearby Winchester Palace when in London.

 Prior to being built in the early 18th century, the site was home to the Cardinal’s Hat pub – which was also reported to be a brothel – and mentioned by the diarist Samuel Pepys. Until the Civil War, Bankside was London’s Soho of the day, known for its entertainment and dens of iniquity. It’s highly likely a certain William Shakespeare may have popped in to the Cardinal’s Hat for an ale in between performances at The Rose or the original Globe, which stood around the junction of Park Street and Porter Street, on the east side of Southwark Bridge. He actually referenced the pub in Henry VI Part II. Shakespeare’s contemporary and founder of Dulwich College, the Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn was also recorded to have dined at the pub. Today, the name of the pub lives on in Cardinal Cap Alley (the street sign on the west side of No.49), an alley which actually dates back to around 1360.

Here the walk finishes in the book, but I walk on up to Westminster.


Tate Modern

St Pauls Cathedral and The Millennium Bridge

St Pauls Cathedral and The Millennium Bridge

St Pauls Cathedral and The Millennium Bridge

A street performer on the South Bank

Blackfriars Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge



OXO Tower

OXO Tower

Gabriels Wharf

Gabriel's Wharf is home to a mix of independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
This arty enclave offers design-led shopping, from jewellery and ceramics, to fair-trade furnishings and affordable artwork. Relax in one of the cafes and restaurants which enjoy spectacular views of London’s skyline.




London Studios,Gabriels Wharf where Good Morning Britain, The Graham Norton Show, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and The Jonathan Ross Show are filmed.



























A Scotsman that speaks polish!
I now cross the bridge and get the tube home from Westminster Station.