Monday 28 August 2017 5.10pm
As Lionel says, changes to the street numbering will be problematical - the Local History Library may be able to help (this is where we miss the likes of Stephen Humphrey, the late lamented Local Studies librarian and archivist).
Today's number 181 is just part of the big modern building nos 179-191 - Kaplan accountancy courses - see Google Street View (I don't remember when this was built, but it clearly totally destroyed any earlier buildings on the site).
However, if the numbering has changed, there are rather more earlier buildings lurking behind the late 19th and 20th century facades than you might think - and the information is available on line.
Go to http://maps.southwark.gov.uk/connect/
- Southwark Council
's interactive map site. Scroll down the left-hand panel and click to put a tick in the 'Listed buildings' box. Then enlarge the map (carefully) to zoom in on Borough High Street
. 'Listed' (historic) buildings are highlighted in green. Click on whichever interests you to get a pop-up info box, then on 'Listing description click to open' to get the official description. So for example no 179 BHS, just next door (Delta House), turns out to be 'Late 17th century with 20th century facade and internal alterations' - apparently the original staircase survives inside.
PS: I presume your ancestor was 'Edward Taylor, Boot and Shoe-maker', who appears in the 1808 Post Office Directory at '181, Borough'?
- on-line at http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16445coll4/id/8860/rec/1
The Southwark Local Studies Library may have other local directories they could check for you.
What would be useful is a street
directory, that lists tradesman by their address, street by street and number by number, rather than alphabetically by name - since these indicate the locations of side streets, this would give a clue exactly where no 181 was. But I don't know if they exist for such an early date. The best collection of London directories is probably that in the London Metropolitan Archive - see https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/visitor-information/Documents/62-the-directories-of-london-and-the-home-counties.pdf
PPS - just found a street directory for 1841 on line - http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16445coll4/id/8844/rec/2
At that time, the numbering for Borough High Street
ran consecutively down the east side, and then back up the west, so no 181 was NOT on the same site as today. Instead it stood on the WEST side, between 'Mint Street
and 'Adam's Place' - not sure where Adam's Place was, but it seems to fall in the list about halfway between Mint Street
) and Union Street
. Looks as if 181 was in the area of nos 140-150 today - all modern buildings, I'm afraid. Incidentally, in 1841 the occupant of no 181 was George Packwood, bootmaker!
(Sorry for the PS and PPS - this would have made more sense if I'd done the research before starting to write the message!)