Southwark is full of history. It’s so big, wonderful and diverse, it’s really difficult to pick out just five places which feel magical but here goes.
This unmarked burial ground was due to become part of the Jubilee Line Extension and the land is owned by TFL. Thanks to tireless work by local poet and playwright John Constable (and many committed supporters) there is now a beautiful garden to celebrate the thousands of “outcast dead” buried in unmarked graves behind Borough. On the 23rd of every month, John Constable holds a ceremony to bring light and honour the dead. http://www.crossbones.org.uk
Photo shows detail from a poster of the graveyard by Jimmy Cauty (of the KLF) dating from the 1990s
2. The Thames Foreshore
Not only is it full of the debris of over a thousand years of history but its the only place in London where ancient slipways, pathways and even forests are regularly uncovered for anyone to walk on! The best times are dusk and dawn, tide tables can be found here.
(Pic dusk storytelling on the foreshore at Cherry Gardens)
3. One Tree Hill
On the southern edge of Southwark, steeply wooded historical hill with incredible views over the city across to North London. I love the fire beacon which dates from the 1930s. We tell stories there a lot, the last time we were there, we met a family scattering the ashes of a loved one. What a beautiful place to rest.
(Picture below by Grace Mathews)
4. The Canal Path in Burgess Park.
There’s something very strange about walking the length of this pathway and encountering the two beautiful canal bridges and the remains of wharfs and warehouses. This is also the location where Richard Farris met his brave and untimely death, as commemorated in this beautiful plaque in Postmans Park. (below) I’ve told stories here for the Bridge to Nowhere project, Glengall Nature Garden and many more!
5. Nunhead Cemetery/Reservoir
One of the lesser-known of the “Magnificent Seven” High Victorian cemeteries built in a ring around London. A stunning and atmospheric spot for a walk at any time of year. Angels and mausoleums abound in various stages of decay, there is also the very fine Doulton Tomb. There are regular events held by the friends, we have also done a fair bit of storytelling there needless to say. There is a reservoir just beside it with the most stunning views in the whole of south London, this always involved some minor trespassing but has recently been closed up and is now impossible to access. There is a petition here if you want to get it opened to the public.