Southwark Area Guide
Southwark is a neighbouring borough to Lewisham and Lambeth, situated south of the river below Tower Hamlets. Early records show the borough was founded and settled by the Romans and was called Suthriganaweorc meaning ‘the defensive works of the men of the south’. Southwark is home to Europe’s tallest building, The Shard, completed in 2012 at a staggering 310 meters high. The borough is also a tourist attraction, being home to the Tate Modern, borough market and the Golden Hinde.
Southwark’s history is deep in progression and innovation as London’s first crossing over the River Thames stretched from Southwark, the poorer side of the river, to the more prosperous City of the north bank. The City and South London railway line is the world’s first deep level underground railway line which opened in 1890 and ran through the borough. The famous and modern Borough Market can be traced back to 1276 and has occupied its current site since 1756. Over 120 languages are spoken in Southwark, top languages spoken besides English include Spanish, Chinese, French and Arabic. Famous residents of the Southwark borough include Charles Dickens, Michael Faraday, Charlie Chaplin and William Shakespeare.