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The London Borough of Southwark 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.


Southwark has old churches, most notably Charles Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle, Southwark Cathedral and St Thomas Church. The Salvation Army maintains the William Booth Memorial Training College near Denmark Hill Station. London's Norwegian Church and Finnish Church are both in Rotherhithe. It is also famous for historic public houses, including the site of The Tabard inn (featured in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales), the George Inn and the The White Hart inn.

The old theatre district of Southwark has the remains of the The Rose Theatre and the rebuilt Globe Theatre. Art galleries include the oldest public gallery in Britain, Dulwich Picture Gallery and one of the most modern, the Tate Modern, situated in the shell of the 1930s Bankside Power Station. In the centre of the borough is Camberwell College of Arts and south, in Dulwich has been a centre for independent school|public schooling for centuries, containing Alleyn's School and the Charles Barry-designed Dulwich College.

Museums, include the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, Britain's Imperial War Museum built on the site of the Bethlem Royal Hospital, The Clink and Livesey Museum for Children. The site of the medieval Winchester Palace can be seen.

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. Visitors can look around HMS Belfast moored nearby.

Southwark is the home to the Greater London Authority at City Hall and contains Guy's Hospital with its roots in the Middle Ages. Peckham Library, designed by Will Alsop has won architecture awards. For shopping, Borough Market near London Bridge is probably London's most famous food market.

The Shard London Bridge, completed in 2012, was London's tallest building when completed.

Civic affairs[]


The Mayor of Southwark for 2007/2008 was Cllr Bob Skelly (Grange ward).


The council is run by a Leader and Cabinet Executive, chaired by council leader 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.

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 well in the centre of the shield is a 'canting' reference to Camberwell, while the ship on the top left refers to the maritime history of Bermondsey and the rose on the right is for St Mary Newington.


Westminster parliament[]

The borough is covered by three parliamentary constituencies:

See also List of Mayors of Southwark


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 A205 London's South Circular Road runs East-West along Dulwich Common and Thurlow Park Road in the south.
  • The boundary with Bromley at Crystal Palace Parade is part of the A212.

Tube stations[]

Railway stations[]

Riverbus piers[]


Parks and open spaces[]


Postcode areas[]

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


Community schools[]

Many state schools are operated under the umbrella of the borough council [2] as Local Education Authority (LEA) for the area.

A list of schools can be found on the Wikipedia page [3].

Independent state schools[]

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

Public schools[]

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

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