|ROTHERHITHE & SOUTHWARK PARK
Route & what to see
Rotherhithe was originally a low-lying area known as Redriff. It became a tight-knit community of shipbuilders and sailors until the closure of the docks in 1970. The old village around the church has been designated as a conservation area. The world's first tunnel under a major navigable river was constructed from Rotherhithe.
A linear walk of 1¾ miles (Rotherhithe only) or 2½ miles with Southwark Park from Bermondsey to Canada Water tube stations (Jubilee line). Refreshments facilities are limited on the route but available at Surrey Quays shopping centre (end route). There is a small cafe in Southwark Park.
From the station cross
Jamaica Road and go to the right. Go left at Wilson Grove
continuing through to the river. Go right along Bermondsey Wall
East (Thames Path).
This goes past Cherry Garden Stairs & Pier, mentioned by Samuel Pepys. On the right are the remains of a 14thc manor built for Edward III with information panels. Opposite is the noted Angel Inn.
Go right along Cathay
On the corner with Paradise Street is a former police station.
Go left along Paradise
The lone building at the end of Fulford Street to the left was the premises of Braithwaite & Dean, Lightermen.
Continue straight ahead
through King's Stairs Gardens and Cottle Way.
On the corner site is the Ship pub.
Go right into St Marychurch
Street and left through the gate into the churchyard.
On the left a small garden has been laid out. Ahead is the old mortuary building used 1895-1965. It had hooks in the ceiling and channels in the floor to deal with bodies fished from the river. It is now used by the Time & Talents Association.
Go to the left through the
This is flanked by two buildings of 1821 the Engine House (used for the 'fire engine') and the Watch House (an early police station). Opposite is Hope Sufference Wharf and adjacent to the Watch House is the former parish school. The Rectory next door was built in 1869 to incorporate the previous building of 1803.
Cross over to the church.
Note: the vestibule is usually open for viewing.
There is a grave to Prince Lee Boo in the churchyard near the playground.
From the church continue
around St Marychurch Street.
The former Grice's Granary is home to Sands Films. Their Picture Research Library is open to the public. At the end of the street is the Mayflower pub with a milestone outside.
Go to the right along
On the right is the Brunel Engine House and former tunnel entrance.
Continue just past Swan
Street into a small garden on the left.
There is an interesting statue group (1991 - by Peter Mclean) of a Pilgrim Father reading a child's comic.
Return to and go along Swan
These houses were built for people displaced by the construction of the Rotherhithe road tunnel. There is an air shaft for this in Brunel Road.
At the end go right along
Rotherhithe Station is at the southern end of Brunel's tunnel.
From the station cross and
go along the footpath opposite (Railway Avenue) over the road
tunnel then right along Albion Street.
There is a view of the chimney of the Renforth Pumping Station to the left. Note: you will need to detour along Renforth Street to view the whole building. Further along Albion Street on the right is the Library & the Finnish Church and at the end is the Norweigan Church of St Olav.
At the roundabout go to the left along Lower Road.
If walking the Rotherhithe
only route continue along this road. Go left
along Surrey Quays Road to Canada Water Station.
On the right are the former Dock Managers offices.
To include Southwark
Park cross at the crossing then go right and
enter the park on the left. Head across to the bandstand then
bear left towards the green roofed building (Bowling Green
pavilion). Walk along the main tarmac path.
This runs alongside a wildlife area.
Cross the gravelled roadway
and go through the gate to the right. At a commemorative Tree of
Heaven take the path to the right through the Ada Salter Garden.
Go anti-clockwise around the boating lake. Head across to a blue
This is a remnant from the Lido that occupied the site of the playground. To the right of this is a new Gallery.
Take the path to the left
past the playground.
Across the roadway is a small cafe (with toilets) and Park Rangers office.
Exit the park at the gates
and continue along Gomm Road. At the end go left along Lower
There is an information to board to explain the naming of the Seven Islands Centre.
Cross the road here and go
through the gate in the wall opposite into a park. Take the right
hand path then exit to the right.
Opposite are the former Dock Managers offices.
Go left along Surrey Quays Road to Canada Water Station.
© london-footprints.co.uk 2008
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