Southwark Old and New

On the southern bank of the River Thames, nestled between Lambeth and Lewisham, Southwark is one of London’s oldest boroughs. Popular with young professionals and artists alike due to the close proximity to the City and low property prices, the ancient borough of Southwark is one of London’s up and coming areas.

Southwark boasts a remarkable collection of buildings, ranging from the ancient through to the modern, representing centuries of architectural achievement and a snapshot of London’s history.

Below we have given some details on a handful of the ones that are well worth a visit…

1.    Southwark is the historical home of the capital’s arts and entertainments industry and home to London’s first theatres, The Globe, The Hope and The Rose.  Built in the 16th century, these theatres are where Shakespeare’s first plays were performed. The rebuilt Globe theatre, which opened in 1997 and is now known as ‘Shakespeare’s Globe’, is a faithful and successful reconstruction of the original open-air theatre designed in 1599 and continues to draw huge crowds to their performances dedicated to Shakespeare’s work.

2.     Amongst the most historic buildings in London is the magnificent Southwark Cathedral.  Dating back to 852 AD, the cathedral, otherwise known as the Cathedral Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, is steeped in history.  As London’s oldest and arguably finest Gothic building, its treasures include a Jacobean communion table and one of the earliest wooden effigies in England, a figure of a knight dating from the last quarter of the 13th century.  The remarkable cathedral has literary connections with Gower, Chaucer and Dickens and there is a carved monument to Shakespeare.

3.     A mixture of the old and the new is The Tate Modern, housed in the stupendous former Bankside Power station, and one of the most popular attractions in London.  With around 4.7 million visitors per year, the Tate Modern is the most visited modern art gallery in the world.  It’s Britain’s national gallery of international modern art with collections consisting of works of international modern and contemporary art dating from 1900 to the present day.

4.      But not all the buildings are old.  At the other end of the historical spectrum, City Hall, located near London Bridge, is one of London’s most easily recognisable modern buildings.  It was completed in 2002, designed by one of Britain’s leading architects, Foster and Partners, whose brief was to create a headquarters for the Greater London Authority (GLA) that would become a new landmark for the capital.  Home to the Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the 600 strong GLA workforce, the building hosts educational visits and the top floor is available to hire as a prime venue.

So whatever your taste – whether traditional or modern – there are places in Southwark that will appeal to you.  And, equally, whether your home and its contents err toward the modern or the traditional, whether it’s bursting with rare artefacts or children’s school art, we offer flexible and affordable self storage at our facilities in Southwark, Camden and Wandsworth.

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