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A Timeline History of Walworth

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A timeline history of Walworth with prints, photographs and maps
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Famous Residents

Samuel Palmer

Charlie Chaplin

Walworth Bars

Walworth Cafes

Walworth Food Shops

Walworth Restaurants

Walworth Shops

Camberwell Road Guide  

Elephant Park Guide

Walworth Road Guide


Prehistoric Walworth

Remains of a mammoth found under Hillingdon Estate

Roman Walworth

C1 Watling Street Roman road built (Old Kent Road is built on it)

Saxon Walworth

C5 Saxons called the area Wealawyrd or Waleorde meaning 'farm of the Britons'

King Edmund Ironside granted Hitard, a court jester, land in Walworth.

Hitard went on a pilgrimage to Rome. Made over his land to Church of Christ in Canterbury, Canterbury Cathedral.

Medieval Walworth

1086 Walworth was described in Domesday Book. Mentioned land for ploughing and growing corn and eight acres of meadowland for cows. Walworth now a village in Surrey seperated from Camberwell by a stream
which ran by Boundary Lane on Walworth Common (where Aylesbury Estate is situated now).

? Pilgrims to shrine of Becket at Canterbury Cathedral
stopped to water horses at stream on Old Kent Road on Walworth Common. Place was known as St Thomas a Watering (now Thomas a Becket pub).

Tudor Walworth

Manor House built?

Stuart Walworth

Map of Walworth made for Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral.
Map showed St Mary Newington church, a maypole on Newington Causeway and a common called Lattam-more (Lower Moor) now Lorrimore Square.

Georgian Walworth

Walworth workhouse established west of Walworth Road (closed 1850)

1748 Rocque's map of London showed a windmill west of Newington Causeway.and a windmill on Bethwin Road.

Manor House (where Manor Place is) demolished.

  Montpelier Tavern opened the Montpelier Tea Garden in Walworth.

1779 View of Walworth

1787 Map of Walworth by Cary

The York Street Independent Chapel opened on south side of York Street (now Browning Street).

Surrey Square built by Michael Searles.

Cricket match played at The Montpelier in Walworth.

1801 Population 14,800

Samuel Palmer, the artist, born in Surrey Square.

David Hughson described Walworth Road as "lined by elegant mansions”.

Regency Walworth

1825 St Peters Church built for Church Commissioners as a result of Walworth’s expanding population. Architect: by Sir John Soane (1753-1837). More info

Early Victorian Walworth

1831 Surrey Zoological Gardens opened by Edward Cross (1774-1854) on Lorrimore common (old Walworth Manor)
Map by Victor Keegan

1842 A Congregational chapel, the Sutherland Chapel, was built between St. Peter's Church and the Walworth Road. In 1904 the building was closed and was later taken over by the Electric Theatre Company.

1848 Queen Victoria & family visited Zoo. Then named Royal Surrey Zoological Gardens.

Newington workhouse built at 182 Westmoreland Road (now Beaconsfield Road) (Newington Lodge in 1930)

1852 St Peters School.

Surrey Zoological Gardens replaced by Surrey Gardens Music Hall.

1856 St Paul Church built on Lorrimore Square

1857 Surrey Gardens closed down.

1858 Surrey Music Hall opened in old Zoological Gardens.

Mid Victorian Walworth           

1860 St John built in Larcom Street.


Metropolitan Tabernacle built at Elephant & Castle.

Canterbury Cathedral gave their land in Walworth to Church Commissioners.
Railway built through Walworth.

1863 Walworth Road Station opened on London, Chatham and Dover Railway Line. 

Vestry of St Mary Newington opened on Walworth Road.

1866 St John's School.

 St John's School opened on Larcom Street.

1869–77 Edward Yates (1838–1907), a local builder, developed the Georgian residential streets on the western side of the Old Kent Road. Also built on the eastern side, laying out Marcia Road. Yates was leased and built on land owned by the Rolls estate and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in Walworth. Walworth moved from a  Georgian suburb to Victorian inner city, with long rows of terraces built speculatively for rental, to house lower middle class and working class residents.  By the time of his death, an estate of just over 2,500 houses, a church and school had been built, to match the rise in the population of Walworth. 
(Today, the streets constructed by Edward Yates form part of the Larcom Street Conservation Area). 

Tram lines laid in Old Kent Road and Walworth Road for horse drawn trams.

Surrey Gardens Music Hall demolished. Penton Place covers part of the site.

Late Victorian Walworth

1889 Charie Chaplin born above a shop in East Street.

Sanford Road School (now Walworth Lower School).

Pembroke College Mission set up by Pembroke College, Cambridge. 
Carter Street Police station opened.
Huntsman & Hounds public house built off East Street.
Newington Library opened at 155-157 Walworth Road next to the Vestry. Designed by Edward I'Anson (1812-1888) & constructed out of parish rates by a special vestry committee.

1895 York Chapel renamed Browning Hall after Robert Browning who was baptised there in 1812.
The Browning Settlement set up by FH Stead (1857-1928) started at Browning Hall. It was inaugarated with a speech by Herbert Asquith.
Drawing (1953) of Browning Hall

Public space created for public from St Peters graveyard.

Browning Hall conference on Pensions led to the Old Age Pensions Act of 1908

Edwardian Walworth

1900 Vestry became Southwark Town Hall

Population 122,200

Henry Coming (1817-1902) left funds in his will to create a public museum to house his family’s collection. 
Browning Settlement moved to 62 Camberwell Road.

Traders moved off Old Kent Road and Walworth Road by authorities to East Stree
t due to new electric trams.

1904 Electric trams introduced in Walworth.

1905 22 acres of slums cleared around Merrow Street by Church Commissioners. 

1906-1907 600 modern flats and houses built by Church Commissioners to replace slums. Managed by Octavia Hill (1838-1912) who encouraged Church Commissioners to add an open space, Faraday Gardens.

1906 The Cuming Museum first opened in galleries above the Newington Library on Walworth Road

Electric Theatre opened at 341 Walworth Road

Elephant & Castle Cinematograph Theatre opened (800 seats) at 47-51 Walworth Road

Photograph of East Street Market showing the Royal Albert (No 51)

1913 Purple Picture Hall opened on Arnside Street, SE17 2EY. Owned by Abraham Simons.

WW1 & Walworth

1916 Walworth Road Station closed.

Pre-War Walworth

1930 Walworth Road (north) towards old Elephant pub

1933 Family of Michael Caine (born Maurice Micklewhite) moved to a two-room top floor flat (with outside toilet) at 14 Urlwin Street, SE5. Later attended John Ruskin School.

1939  Reverend James Butterworth (1897-1977) advocated ‘a house for friendship for boys and girls outside any church’. He replaced the Walworth Methodist Chapel on Camberwell Road with a new chapel & Clubland. Designed by Sir Edward Maufe (1882-1974), the architect of Guildford Cathedral. Clubland featured a theatre, gymnasium, tennis court & various club rooms. Opened by Queen Mary on 18th May. Robert Kennedy (1925-1968) made his first public speech at Clubland at the age of 13, when his father was the US Ambassador.

WW2 & Walworth

1940 Walworth bombed in Blitz.
St Peters hit by bombs - seventy people killed in the crypt

Post War Walworth

1952 Trams discontinued.

Brandon Estate built.

1960 Film of Walworth Road

New St Paul’s Church opened on Lorrimore Square. Modernist Grade II-listed building of reinforced concrete designed by Woodroffe Buchanan & Coulter

Work started on the Aylesbury Estate

1964 South of River Film (35:23 East Street)

Southwark Town Hall moved from Walworth Road to Peckham Road after borough of Camberwell merged with Southwark.

Film of East Street Market

1974 Heygate Estate completed.

Aylesbury Estate completed. Extended from East Street to Albany Street.

Browning Hall (old York Chapel) demolished on Browning Street after fire damage.
An open area with the tomb of Captain James Wilson (1780-1814) remains.

2010 New Faraday School opened on Portland Street. Designed by Will Alsop (1947-2018).

2013 Cuming Museum and Library damaged by a fire (film).

2014 Heygate Estate demolished (info and photos).

2020 Work begun on demolition of Aylesbury estate.

2021 Southwark Heritage Centre and Walworth Library opened at 145 Walworth Road (near old Town Hall). It incorporates items from the Cuming Museum.

2023 Una Marson library opened on Thurlow Street. Named after the writer Una Marson (1905-1965) described by her biographer as the first "Black British feminist to speak out against racism and sexism in Britain"


The Story of Walworth - Mary Boast (Southwark Council 1976)

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