13 Facts About Southwark


Southwark is sited on a once slightly marshy area south of the River Thames.

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Southwark appears to recover only during the time of King Alfred and his successors.

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Southwark failed to force the bridge during the Norman conquest of England, but Southwark was devastated.

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Much of Southwark was originally owned by the church – the greatest reminder of monastic London is Southwark Cathedral, originally the priory of St Mary Overie.

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Southwark 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.

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In 1861, another great fire in Southwark destroyed a large number of buildings between Tooley Street and the Thames, including those around Hays Wharf and blocks to the west almost as far as St Olave's Church.

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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.

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The medieval heart of Southwark was, simultaneously, referred to as the ward of Bridge Without when administered by the city and as an aldermanry until 1978.

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The Metropolitan Borough of Southwark was based at the former Newington Vestry Hall, now known as Walworth Town Hall.

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New Diocese of Southwark was established in 1905 from parts of the Diocese of Rochester; the diocese serves large parts of south London and Surrey.

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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 Companies.

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Southwark still has vestiges of this because of the connection with the City of London.

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Therefore, between 1750 and 1978 Southwark had two persons 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.

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