Pages xix-xx

Survey of London: Volume 22, Bankside (The Parishes of St. Saviour and Christchurch Southwark). Originally published by London County Council, London, 1950.

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The average sightseer in London is apt to avoid Southwark, thinking of it as a gloomy and crowded area of wharves and factories. The railway and commercial development of the nineteenth century has indeed obscured the old street pattern and there are practically no open spaces except where bombs have cleared them during the war; yet for those who have the patience to seek them out, Southwark has many survivals of its long and interesting history. Seventeenth and eighteenth century houses remain wedged between high modern factory buildings and, particularly in the neighbourhood of Bankside and Borough High Street, narrow alleys and streets retain the lines and the names given them in the seventeenth century when Southwark was in its hey-day.

Perhaps the most astonishing survivals are the remains of Winchester Palace, which are now built into the walls of the flour warehouses of Clink Street. Long and careful research into the records of this property in the possession of the Church Commissioners has enabled the ground plan of the palace to be reconstructed, for the old landmarks and boundaries have never been obliterated even in three centuries of commercial occupation.

The most interesting part of the volume to many people will be the chapters which deal with Bankside and its literary and dramatic associations. This ground has been so thoroughly worked over in the past that no sensational discoveries could be expected, but several new facts have come to light, while the 1618 map mentioned below settles finally the vexed question of the site of the Globe Playhouse.

Many private householders and firms of Southwark too numerous to acknowledge individually have given the Council's officers access to their premises and their records so that this survey might be complete. Special thanks are due to Mr. Bentley, Clerk to the Corporation of the Wardens of St. Saviour's, who has so kindly provided facilities for research among the wonderful series of records belonging to the Wardens, and to Mr. Jones, of the City Records Office, who drew attention to a number of freshly discovered records of Southwark in the City Comptroller's office when the book was almost ready for the press. The map of Southwark in 1618 (Plate I), reproduced by permission of the City Corporation, throws new light on the early topography of the area. The story of its origin from the City Records is given in the Appendix.

Among other persons and institutions who have given assistance, mention must also be made of Barclay Perkins & Co., Ltd., Dulwich College, the Church Commissioners, the Guildhall Library, Guy's Hospital, the John Marshall Trustees, St. Thomas's Hospital, Southwark Borough Council and Reference Library, the Trustees of Hopton's Charity, and the Unitarian Chapel, Stamford Street, while the resources of the Public Record Office, the British Museum, and Somerset House have been freely drawn upon.

The historical part of the volume and its general editorship are the work of Miss Ida Darlington, M.A. (Lond.), an assistant in my department. The architectural descriptions, together with the drawings and diagrams, have been prepared under the direction of the Architect to the Council, who desires that his appreciation shall be recorded of the work done by Mr. J. H. Farrar, A.R.C.A., Mr. F. R. Buggey, and other assistants in his department.

Howard Roberts,
Clerk of the London County Council.

The County Hall,
Westminster Bridge, S.E.1.