Literary Southwark Walk


The Past Brought to Life

Southwark has a unique historic and literary heritage and an authentic historic ambiance, with beautiful views of the Thames and the City of London.

The tour gives an introduction to the historic development and literary heritage of Southwark – concentrating on the figures of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens. Southwark's location at the south end of London Bridge made it a key strategic and commercial site. This was where the great Medieval Inns were located, and from where Chaucer's pilgrimage set off for Canterbury. Its independence from the City made it a haven for 'undesirable' elements and it became the home of the Medieval Stews (Brothels), and also the home of the Shakespearean Stage. On the walk we explore the sites of the Globe, the Rose, the Swan and the Bull and Bear Baiting Pits and Shakespeare's role in the area. By the Victorian period its nature had changed completely into an industrial centre, home of notorious slums, of debtors prisons, and of charitable hospitals. It became one of the main inspirations for Dickens London fiction whose father was imprisoned here for debt when Dickens was a young boy. It was at the White Hart that Dickens introduced Sam Weller into the flagging story of the Pickwick Sporting Club – the character who saved Dickens literary career.


  • Old St. Thomas' Hospital & Guys Hospital
  • The White Hart which appears in Dickens' Pickwick Papers & Shakespeare's Henry VI
  • The George Inn   London's only surviving galleried inn
  • The site of the Tabard, starting point of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
  • Marshelsea Prison – where Dickens father was imprisoned for debt.
  • Hop Exchange and Borough Market
  • Nancy Steps - London Bridge
  • Southwark Cathedral
  • Winchester Palace medieval remains and site of Clink Prison
  • The Anchor   medieval brothel, then a brewery owned by Dr. Johnson's friends
  • Rose Alley, Rose Theatre, Bear, Gardens and Hope Theatre
  • Globe Theatre

OPTIONS: Groups visiting the Old Operating Theatre Museum will be given a talk by Curatorial staff. The tour can be tailored to individual requirements, it can be taken in either direction and can be complemented with visits to the Globe Theatre, Rose Theatre, Tate Modern, St Pauls Cathedral or the Clink Prison displays. Adult groups might like to include a stop in a historic pub of which the most famous are the George and the Anchor. A day’s visit might include a visit to the Globe, Walk, Lunch in the Anchor, Walk, end with visit to the Old Operating Theatre Museum.

BOOKING DETAILS: The walk lasts 2 hours. Allow an extra hour for any visits taken. Walk £5 per person. Entrance to the Museum is £4 per person. Walk and visit £8.50. Evening visit to Museum £8 (includes glass of wine), Evening visit and walk £12. Minimum booking of £80. Ring Kevin Flude 020 8806 3742. Or email to discuss details.

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Post: CHR, 249 Evering Road. London. E5 8AL.

Phone: 020 8806 3742Fax: 020 8806 4325

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Copyright � 2005 Cultural Heritage Resources
Site Template Last Updated 4 April 2005

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Next Guided Walks:

Next walks for London Walks are:

Jane Austen's London Pub Tour 4 May 7.15pm Green Park Underground

Pub Crawl up the River Fleet on May 18
London Bridge to Bermondsey on July 13
The Archaeology of London Bridge on July 14
Roman Archaeology and Culture on Aug. 3
Chelsea on Sept. 28
Decline and Fall of Roman London on Sept. 28
Myths and Legends and the Origins of London on Oct. 5City Backstreets on Oct. 5
The City and the Blitz on November 23


Four Humours of Shakespeare

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The Four Humours of Shakespeare by Kevin Flude





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Copyright © 2019   Cultural Heritage Resources. Site Template Updated 28 April 2019
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