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Bards and Bawds in Southwark, London

Bards and Bawds in Southwark, London

Distance: 2.94 miles ( 4.74 km )  Duration: 2 hours   Last Updated: 01 Oct 2021
A terrific walk added by John Daniels it's in City of London, Greater London, England.
This trail is best during daylight hours but could be done after sunset when a torch would be helpful. Southwark has played an important part in London’s history since the Roman period, the High Street, once the Roman Watling Street and main route from London to Canterbury and Dover used by the Pilgrim Father’s. For many years it was outside of the City boundaries, lawless and full of the worst sort of criminals, mostly owned by the Bishops of Winchester all the London playhouses were here together with brothels, bear baiting and similar social pastimes. On this trail we visit lesser known streets and learn more about the gruesome past,
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Trail Highlights



Borough Underground Station

The station was first opened in 1890 as the most northern station on the ‘City and South London Railway’. North of the station the railway followed a different route to the present one with the tu…
This is a taster. Actual text is 128 words.






Church of St George the Martyr

We are featuring this church on the trail because of its very close connections with the author Charles Dickens, it is sometimes known in literary circles as “Little Dorrit’s Church” after one o…
This is a taster. Actual text is 395 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.23 miles ( 0.37 km ) ( 0:04:42 )

Marshalsea Prison

Marshalsea Prison

All we can see now is the one remaining south wall of what was often described as the worst prison in the country. Although it held a variety of prisoners it became known for its incarceration of the …
This is a taster. Actual text is 663 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.06 miles ( 0.10 km ) ( 0:01:11 )

Red Cross Gardens

Red Cross Gardens

In 1884, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners turned to Octavia Hill, well known as a housing reformer, to manage “a great part” of the property they owned in Southwark, which was now in very poor con…
This is a taster. Actual text is 1069 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.24 miles ( 0.39 km ) ( 0:04:54 )



Cross Bones Graveyard

The graveyard is thought to have been established originally as an unconsecrated graveyard for prostitutes, or ‘single women’, who were known locally as “Winchester Geese” because they were li…
This is a taster. Actual text is 1601 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.15 miles ( 0.23 km ) ( 0:02:49 )



The Hop Exchange

This is a Grade II listed building and was opened in 1867 to serve as the centre for hop trading for the brewing industry. Hops, introduced to England from the Netherlands, are still used in the brewi…
This is a taster. Actual text is 2067 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.30 miles ( 0.48 km ) ( 0:06:06 )

Shakespearean Theatres

Shakespearean Theatres

The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s playing company the ‘Lord Chamberlain’s Men and was destroyed by fire on June 29th 1613, rebuilt by June 1614 and closed by the Puri…
This is a taster. Actual text is 2603 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.40 miles ( 0.64 km ) ( 0:07:50 )



Bear Gardens

This street is named after the last bear baiting pit in London, bear or bull baiting was seen as a great sporting and gambling event. It was patronised by all classes of Elizabethans including the Que…
This is a taster. Actual text is 2743 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.03 miles ( 0.05 km ) ( 0:00:39 )

The Ferryman’s Seat

The Ferryman’s Seat

No one knows quite how old this seat is, but what we do know is that it was used as a resting place for the Ferryman who once operated a water taxi service across the river and back. You will find it …
This is a taster. Actual text is 3141 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.00 miles ( 0.00 km )

Cardinals Wharf

Cardinals Wharf

This consists of a row of 18th century houses that are the oldest in the area and No 49 with the adjacent very narrow alleyway is said to stand on the site of the Elizabethan ‘Cardinal’s Cap Inn…
This is a taster. Actual text is 3388 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.19 miles ( 0.30 km ) ( 0:05:04 )

The Anchor Pub

The Anchor Pub

The Anchor started life as the brewery tap room for the Anchor Brewer whose buildings were behind, it was first established in 1616. It has been described as “Banksides oldest surviving tavern”. T…
This is a taster. Actual text is 3608 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.24 miles ( 0.38 km ) ( 0:03:52 )

The Clink Prison

The Clink Prison

This was the most notorious prison of its time, a frightening place inhabited by some of the worst criminals in the southern part of England. The prison functioned from the 12th century until about 17…
This is a taster. Actual text is 4159 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.06 miles ( 0.10 km ) ( 0:01:09 )

Winchester Palace Remains

Winchester Palace Remains

Southwark in the county of Surrey was formerly the largest manor in the Diocese of Winchester and the Bishop of Winchester was a major landowner in the area. He was a great power in the land, and trad…
This is a taster. Actual text is 4434 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.06 miles ( 0.10 km ) ( 0:01:15 )

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

This is the oldest Gothic church in London and its full historical name is “The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie”. It stands at the oldest crossing point of the Riv…
This is a taster. Actual text is 4933 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.25 miles ( 0.40 km ) ( 0:04:48 )



Borough Market

This is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London. The original market adjoined the end of London Bridge and was first mentioned in 1276 although the market claims to have existed since 101…
This is a taster. Actual text is 5192 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.15 miles ( 0.25 km ) ( 0:03:07 )



The Queens Head Inn

Along Borough High Street there were once many coaching inns and taverns because this was the start of the main roads to Canterbury and Dover. Alongside No 103 you will find Queens Head Yard and in th…
This is a taster. Actual text is 5566 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.14 miles ( 0.22 km ) ( 0:02:59 )



Talbot Yard

The Talbot was once the site of the coaching inn named the Tabard as indicated by big the paving slab at its entrance. The Tabard was established in 1307 and was originally built for the Abbot of Hyde…
This is a taster. Actual text is 5761 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.07 miles ( 0.12 km ) ( 0:01:27 )

The George Inn

The George Inn

This is the only surviving galleries inn in London, before the coming of the railways there were several inns along this stretch of the road. These galleried inns were used for Elizabethan theatrical …
This is a taster. Actual text is 6137 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.05 miles ( 0.07 km ) ( 0:00:54 )

Guys Hospital

Guys Hospital

The hospital was founded in 1721 by the philanthropist Thomas Guy, who had made a fortune from the South Sea Bubble and as a publisher of unlicensed bibles. It was originally established to accept pat…
This is a taster. Actual text is 6499 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.14 miles ( 0.23 km ) ( 0:02:52 )



St Thomas Church

St Thomas hospital was founded in the 12th century and was connected to the Priory of St Marie Overie which stood nearby. In the 1840’s the hospital was forced to move to its present location in Lam…
This is a taster. Actual text is 6850 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.00 miles ( 0.00 km )



London Bridge Station

This is London’s oldest surviving station, opened in December 1836 to serve London’s first railway line, the London to Greenwich Railway. The first section of the line to open ran between Bermonds…
This is a taster. Actual text is 7007 words.


Distance from previous hotspot: 0.19 miles ( 0.30 km ) ( 0:03:46 )











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