History

/History
History 2017-12-04T16:37:50+00:00

Some of the earliest developments within the area date back to the medieval settlement of Long Southwark (1681) which, although famed for its fairs and inns, was largely farmland.

The first significant development in the area dates to the early 18th C. when the Trust of the Surrey New Roads built Borough Road (today, New Kent Road) allowing for better access to the area. The opening of Blackfriars Bridge in 1769 further increased connectivity. During the 18th C. the Walworth Road developed a distinct and genteel character. Although still semi-rural, it appeared lined with elegant Georgian terraces with front and back gardens.

At the time, Walworth was famed for its horticulture and zoological gardens which remained until 1878. By the mid-19th C. the area experienced a heavy migration of urban poor largely consisting of Irish immigrants. Walworth quickly became one of the densest populated areas in London. In 1900 the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark was formed by the amalgamation of four old parishes, Newington, St. Saviour’s (Southwark Cathedral), St George the Martyr, and Christchurch, Blackfriars Road, St. Mary. The Newington Vestry Hall became the Southwark Town Hall, a meeting place for the mayor and council of the new borough.

WWII saw large-scale destruction all over London and Elephant and Castle and Walworth were heavily bombed. The 1970s redevelopment which followed, including the Heygate and Aylesbury estates, significantly altered the streetscape around the Walworth Road.