Southwark Local History Resources?
May 16, 2014 10:12 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to write a sort of walking tour of the Southwark/Borough area in London (UK). I need help resources for information on buildings/history of the area and stories tied to that place or its people. Preferably things which are freely available online. More specific details inside.

I need to come up with a list of interesting places in the Borough/Southwark area (the exact boundary hasn't been decided but I'll start near London Bridge).

For each place I want to come up with a short (couple of minutes) reading. This can either be a fiction excerpt, the history of the place/building or a personal story tied to it.

The experience I'm aiming for is something like The Rings of Saturn - stories and ideas which are triggered off the place but not necessarily tied to them. I would prefer something more personal or grander than "this building was built in x year." I also sort of prefer off the beaten track/hidden locations.

I don't intend to sink an infinite amount of time/resources into this so stuff which is freely available online would be great. Good pre-written walking tours might be a great start.
posted by Erberus to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Check out the Spitalfields life blog. It's not just about Spitalfields
posted by mani at 10:51 AM on May 16, 2014

Cross Bones Graveyard:

There are a lot of Dicken's connections to Southwark e.g.Dicken's walks in Southwark.
posted by tallus at 12:56 PM on May 16, 2014

The se1 community site has a lot of information about local places, and would also think their forums would be able to help you more:

And this site has a lot of information about the local built environment:

That page also mentions an archive at the Infoshop which may be of use if it is still going.

And there is also a lot about the general area, things like the Mint St debtors jail, the Southwark bridge road hatters industry (where the bowler hat was invented!), the Bermondsey tanneries and so on, in Ackroyd's London A Biography book.

You could also research individual buildings/areas on the web, off the top off my head there is the Shard, Shakespeare's Globe, the regeneration(s) of the area by the elephant and castle roundabout, the new AHMM office development at 240 Blackfriars rd, Tate modern original and the current extension, the post modern neo bankside and blue fine buildings behind, the riots in Peckham, the 80s riots and recent gentrification in Brixton, borough market and of course the skateboard undercroft at the Southbank centre. The area is very rich in history! Good luck!
posted by Albondiga at 2:46 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another Nickel In The Machine is my favourite London history/story blog. Here's one from Blackfriars.
posted by corvine at 5:17 PM on May 16, 2014

A couple of great London-centric blogs: Victorian London snapshots and Derelict London.
posted by srednivashtar at 12:20 AM on May 17, 2014

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