London Borough of Southwark: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

London Borough of Southwark
Motto: United to Serve
Shown within Greater London
Status London borough
— Total
Ranked 312th
28.85 km2 (11.1 sq mi)
ONS code 00BE
Admin HQ Peckham Road, Camberwell
— Total (2008 est.)
Ranked 34th (of 326)
9,635 /km2 (24,955 /sq mi)
White British
White Irish
Other White
White & Black Caribbean
White & Black African
White & Asian
Other Mixed
Other Asian
Black Caribbean
Black African
Other Black
(2005 estimates)[1]
Southwark London Borough Council
Logo of Southwark London Borough Council
Leadership Leader & Cabinet
Mayor —(non-political)
Executive Liberal Democrat / Conservative
MPs Harriet Harman
Simon Hughes
Tessa Jowell
London Assembly
— Member
Lambeth and Southwark
Valerie Shawcross
Coat of Arms
Coat of arms of Southwark London Borough Council
Official website

The London Borough of Southwark (pronounced /ˈsʌðɚk/ ( listen)) is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.



Southwark got its name in the 9th century but was first settled in the Roman period. The London Borough of Southwark was formed in 1965 from the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark, the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell, and the Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey.


The borough borders the City of London and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to the north, the London Borough of Lambeth to the west and the London Borough of Lewisham to the east. To the south is the London Borough of Bromley and the London Borough of Croydon.



At the 2001 census Southwark had a population of 244,866. Southwark is ethnically 63% white, 16% black African and 8% black Caribbean. 31% of householders are owner–occupiers.


City Hall, taken from the high walkway on Tower Bridge
The rebuilt Globe Theatre

The Tower Bridge, the Millennium Bridge, and the London Bridge are here, as well as the planned Shard London Bridge, which will be London's tallest building when completed. Borough Market near London Bridge is probably London's most famous food market.

Religious institutions

Southwark has many notable places of worship, Anglican, Roman Catholic and independent non-conformist. These include Charles Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle, Southwark Cathedral (Church of England), St George's Cathedral (Roman Catholic), and St Mary's Cathedral (Greek Orthodox. London's Norwegian Church and Finnish Church and the Swedish Seamen's Church are all in Rotherhithe. St George the Martyr is the oldest church in Greater London dedicated to England's Patron Saint, the redundant St Thomas Church is now the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret.

Literature and theatres

Southwark has many literary associations, Charles Dickens set several of his novels in the old borough where he lived as a young man. The site of The Tabard inn (featured in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales), the White Hart inn and the George Inn which survives.

The old theatre district of Southwark has the remains of the Rose Theatre and the rebuilt Globe Theatre and its exhibition on the Bankside contribution to the birth of classical theatre. In 2007 the Unicorn Children's Theatre was opened on Tooley Street and the Union Theatre moved to Bermondsey Street.

Museums and galleries

The borough is the location of international standard museums and galleries; the Imperial War Museum and its outpost HMS Belfast moored at the Pool, Dulwich Picture Gallery the oldest public gallery in Britain, and one of the most modern, the Tate Modern. The Bankside Gallery is the headquarters of the Royal Society of Watercolourists and Engravers. Specialist and local collections are represented at the London Fire Brigade Museum, the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, The Clink and the London Bridge Experience, the Golden Hinde replica and the site of the medieval Winchester Palace is a scheduled ancient monument.

Some of the old industrial and wharfside heritage remains at the now defunct Surrey Commercial Docks including Greenland Dock, where residential buildings were erected; such as Baltic Quay. Near Tower Bridge old warehouses have been converted at to new uses at Butler's Wharf and Hay's Wharf. Similarly, the Oxo Tower now hosts restaurants shops and housing.

Southwark is the home to the Greater London Authority at City Hall.

Peckham Library, designed by Will Alsop won the Stirling Prize for modern architecture.

The Livesey Children's Museum was a free children's museum given to the people of Southwark by the great industrialist Sir George Livesey. It was closed by Southwark council in 2008.

Business and Professions

The northern-end of the borough opposite the City has proven attractive to major professional services firms HQs, such as Hewitt Associates and also notably international corporate solicitors and chartered accountancy concerns. These are almost all housed in the London Bridge City or the More London developments there. These include, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Norton Rose, Ernst & Young and Lawrence Graham.

The press and publishing industry is also well represented, Financial Times has its head office in Southwark Bridge Road.[2][3] Express Group Newspapers on Blackfriars Road, IPC Magazines at the Blue Fin building Southwark Street and Evening Standard and Daily Mail at Surrey Quays.

Educational establishments

London South Bank University (LSBU) at its principal Elephant and Castle site has over 23,000 students and 1,700 staff. The Chancellor is the newscaster Sir Trevor McDonald.

The University of the Arts London has two of its colleges in the borough - at Elephant and Castle is the London College of Communication and on Peckham Road is the Camberwell College of Arts. The principal university teaching hospital of King's College, London is at the Guy's Hospital, founded 1725, merging the teaching activities of the Guy's, St Thomas' and King's College Hospitals here. St Thomas' was founded in the mid-12th Century in the borough and parts of it remain at St Thomas Street. The Salvation Army maintains the William Booth Memorial Training College at Denmark Hill.

Community schools

Many state schools are operated under the umbrella of the borough council [1] as Local Education Authority (LEA) for the area.

Community secondary schools include:

Primary schools include:

  • Vauxhall Primary School

Independent state schools

A particularly large proportion of schools operate outside the LEA, as Foundation schools or City Academies, including:

Independent public schools

Dulwich in the southern part of the borough has a number of public schools:

Courts and Judiciary

The old Southwark borough had been the location of many Courts and Prisons of Royal Prerogative, the Marshalsea and King’s Bench, as well as the manorial and borough courts the Surrey County magistrates had both sessions and a prison there. The Inner London Sessions House on Newington Causeway descends from these. The Southwark Coroner's Court in Tennis Street dates back to the charter of 1550. In 1964 Southwark Crown Court was opened at English Grounds near London Bridge for local requirements, giving the borough two Crown Courts. Since 1994 the Crown Court for the west London Boroughs, previously based at Knightsbridge, was rehoused in Southwark as Blackfriars Crown Court. When the decision was taken to separate the judiciary and legislature, in 2007, by transforming the House of Lords Judicial Committee of Law Lords into the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom it was given the Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square as its residence. This meant that the crown court for Westminster's judges sitting there were transferred to the Southwark Crown Court, hence the senior judge holds the honorific title of the Recorder of Westminster. Apart from these four crown courts (ILCC Newington, Southwark, Wesminster, Blackfriars) Southwark’s local magistrates sit at two courts in the borough, Tower Bridge and Camberwell Green Magistrates Courts.

Few boroughs can boast a single major Court, Southwark has seven jurisdictions.

Civic affairs


The Mayor of Southwark for 2009-2010 is Cllr Jeff Hook (Rotherhithe ward), who was elected on 20 May 2009. He replaces Cllr Eliza Mann (Riverside ward) who served from 2008-2009.
Cllr Hook is thought to be the first gay man to be elected Mayor of Southwark. His civil partner will serve as Mayor's Consort.


The council is run by a Leader and Cabinet Executive, chaired by council leader Cllr Nick Stanton. Following the election in 2006 the Executive is a coalition, with Liberal Democrat councillors holding 8 seats on the Executive and Conservative councillors holding 2. The leader of the opposition Labour group is Cllr Peter John.

Coat of arms

The two supporters on the coat of arms are an Elizabethan player dressed to play Hamlet to the left, indicating the theatrical heritage of the area, and the youth on the right side is the Esquire from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The coat of arms is an amalgam of elements of the three constituent Metropolitan Boroughs arms. The chequered band represents the three boroughs together. The cross was a common feature of Southwark and Camberwell. The well in the centre of the shield is a 'canting' reference to Camberwell and the cinquefoils represent the Dulwich area of Camberwell, while the ship on the top left refers to the maritime history of Bermondsey and was part of the Rotherhithe insignia. The rose on the right is from the Southwark arms where it represented St Saviour's parish, i.e. the Cathedral.


Southwark is twinned with Langenhagen in Germany, Clichy in France, and Cambridge in the United States.[4][5]


Southwark London Borough Council

A Liberal Democrat/Conservative coalition has run Southwark Council since 2002.
Summary of council election results:

Overall control Labour Lib Dem Conservative Others
2006 Lib Dem/Cons Coalition 27 ** 29 ** 6 1 (Green)
2002 Lib Dem/No overall control 28 30 5 -
1998 Labour/No overall control 33(31)* 27 4 0(2)*
1994 Labour - - - -
1990 Labour - - - -
1986 Labour - - - -
1982 Labour - - - -
1978 Labour - - - -
1974 Labour - - - -
1971 Labour - - - -
1968 Labour - - - -
1964 Labour - - - -

(*)Labour won 33 seats in 1998, but 2 members subsequently resigned the whip, leaving no overall control.
(**)Cllr Danny McCarthy (Cathedrals ward) defected from the Libdems to the Labour Party after the 2006 election. Cllr Ola Oyewunmi (Peckham ward) resigned the Labour whip in December 2009, and was admitted to the Liberal Democrat group in January 2010. Cllr Susan Elan-Jones resigned as councillor for the Lane ward to stand for a parliamentary seat in Wales. Her resignation was after the date at which a by-election can be held, leaving the seat vacant until the local elections in May 2010.

A Liberal Democrat/Conservative coalition runs the council (the Conservatives hold 2/10 executive positions, including deputy leader).

Westminster parliament

The borough is covered by three parliamentary constituencies:


The Tabard Inn, around 1850
Borough Market, circa 1860

Bridges and tunnels

"A" Roads

  • Roads leading to bridges across the Thames meet at St. Georges Circus
  • The A2 runs along Old Kent Road through the north of the borough and is London's main artery from the centre out to Kent.
  • The A202 runs along Peckham High Street and passes the town hall.
  • The boundary with Bromley at Crystal Palace Parade is part of the A212.

Tube stations

Railway stations

Riverbus piers

Operated by Thames Clipper


Parks and open spaces


Areas of Southwark

Postcode areas

SE1 (part), SE4 (part), SE5 (part), SE11 (part), SE15 (part), SE16 (part), SE17 (all), SE19 (part), SE21 (part), SE22 (all), SE24 (part), SE26 (part)

Notable residents (past and present)


  1. ^ Data Management and Analysis Group, Greater London Authority, Demography Update October 2007, (2007)
  2. ^ "London, United Kingdom." Financial Times. Retrieved on 28 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Map." London Borough of Southwark. Retrieved on 28 October 2009.
  4. ^ "A Message from the Peace Commission: Information on Cambridge's Sister Cities," February 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  5. ^ Richard Thompson. "Looking to strengthen family ties with 'sister cities'," Boston Globe, October 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.

External links

Coordinates: 51°27′N 0°05′W / 51.45°N 0.083°W / 51.45; -0.083

Simple English

London Borough of Southwark
Shown within Greater London
Official website
Status London borough
— Total
Ranked 340th
28.85 km²
ONS code 00BE
Admin HQ Peckham Road, Camberwell
— Total (2005 est.)
Ranked 32nd (of 354)
8,932 / km²
Ethnicity 63.0% White
25.9% African-Caribbean
5.0% Mixed Race
4.1% South Asian
1.8% Chinese
Leadership Leader & Cabinet
Mayor —(non-political)
Executive Liberal Democrats / Conservative
MPs Harriet Harman
Simon Hughes
Tessa Jowell
London Assembly
— Member
Lambeth and Southwark
Valerie Shawcross

The London Borough of Southwark is a London Borough. It is in south east London.

Related pages

Other places in Southwark Borough

Greater LondonLondonCity of London


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