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Leigh Hatts

Historic maps and SE1 panorama at Museum of London

An interactive 1891 map has been installed at the Museum of London enabling visitors to locate their Waterloo or Southwark address and its Victorian social status.

Rhinebeck panorama
Rhinebeck panorama detail, artist unknown, 1806 © Museum of London

Charles Booth's poverty survey coloured a detailed street map according to wealth. At the museum the SE1 sections can be enlarged on a touch screen for close examination.

A dedicated Booth map room is part of the museum's 20 million redevelopment where the new Galleries of Modern London tell the capital's story from the Great Fire of London in 1666 to the present day.

Objects include one of Hogarth's 1733 Southwark Fair prints and a 1766 engraving of Blackfriars Bridge made in Rome by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

Among early posters is one dated 1838 advertising "a local drama of particular interest" at the Royal Surrey Theatre in St George's Circus. An 1840 bill promotes the nearby Astley's circus in Westminster Bridge Road. The poster is printed at "9 New Cut".

Undated is one for Wright's Wine & Spirit Establishment at 298 Kent Street (now Tabard Street) 'near St George's Church". This is printed at 95-96 London Road.

A copy of a book called The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole is placed alongside the Florence Nightingale items.

A key painting back on display here after many years is the highly detailed Rhinebeck Panorama showing SE1 in about 1806. It is named after the place in New York where it was found rolled up in a barrel in 1944.

Depicted are St Olave's Church in Tooley Street and St Thomas' Hospital behind today's London Bridge Post Office. Christ Church Southwark in Blackfriars Road rises up in front of Lambeth Marsh.

Towards the end of the galleries is the 20th-century area where a Richard Wynne Nevison painting of 'London from Waterloo Bridge 1928' depicts seagulls over barges on today's National Theatre site.

The 1951 Festival of Britain is represented by a Double Diamond festival beer mat and a Bfi souvenir film book.

The long 350 year time line has a short entry for 1922: "First boy given LCC scholarship to St Olave's School".

In the final room an interactive council map brings up views of London boroughs. Southwark's 'places of worship' so far has the Cathedral, St George The Martyr and the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

'Landmarks' gives equal status to the Southwark Needle outside Evans Cycles and the nearby Shard construction site.

This new museum floor has more than 7,000 items on show. Fortunately admission is once more free so return visits are easy.

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