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Cardinal Cap Alley

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Friday 28 September 2012 2.11am
I used to pop in there as well back then & had guessed that the gate was not legal.
I've only just spotted this thread so here's hoping that some momentum builds although back then Bankside was a much quieter place & with present footfall about there some kind of husbandry would be required I'm sure.
Saturday 6 October 2012 11.43pm
I'm adding a bit of detail to the history of Cardinal Cap Alley, Skinmarket Place and Bankside and you can find it at

I suspect that the real problem is political will. Southwark Council needs Southwark Cathedral more than it needs Cardinal Cap Alley but there is a really seedy back story to the saga. Gillian Tyndall didn't cover it in her book and I hope that one of the amenity groups might take an interest.

I am quite certain that if anyone else had pulled the stunts that have been pulled around Cardinal Cap, Southwark Council would have had the boys round there straight-away.

Cardinal Cap, Skinmarket and Bankside are all public highways and its a scandal that gates and barriers can be put across them and nothing is done about it.


Wednesday 10 October 2012 2.17pm
The papers for today's Borough, Bankside & Walworth Community Council include a public question on this, and a response from the council.

The name of the questioner is not given.


Have the council finally come to a suitable agreement concerning the current barrier between the Globe and 48 Bankside? The recently installed barrier is obviously a big improvement on the ‘borrowed’ utility barriers that had been allowed to stand there for many years. After many years the said gate was transferred to cardinal cap alley, the gate has recently been left open. Has there been an agreement with the bankside houses and the council to have occasional opening. If so when are these opening scheduled?


The Council considers any barrier that blocks this part of the public highway as an obstruction to the public highway. It is the Council's intention to request that the landowner removes the barrier as soon as the new rising bollards on New Globe Walk are fully operational. The council reserves the right to undertake this work if the landowner does not comply.

The Council is continuing to seek a solution to the various issues presented by Cardinal Cap alley and Skin Market Place and is working with the local stakeholders who are affected. Any proposals will be subject to public consultation.

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Wednesday 10 October 2012 10.22pm
The bloody horrible "temporary" building of the Globe exhibition is another bit of unfinished planning business and presumably closely related.
Saturday 13 October 2012 5.25pm
The facts of Cardinal Cap, Skinmarket and Bankside are available on the bermondseyphotographs blogsite. If anyone wishes to confirm those facts, they can do so by contacting any of the public archives mentioned or by contacting Southwark Council.

Cardinal Cap Alley and Skinmarket place are public highways and should be available, without restriction, to the public. They should not be annexed by private interests for private benefit.
Friday 23 May 2014 7.10pm
Discovered this discussion after reading about the alley.

Has there been any change in the status?

I googled the mysterious 'A Tolmie' who is mentioned on the blog as having been involved in installing those barriers. He leaves a comment or two on this page which is a book about the house, saying it's badly researched, and gives anecdotes of other people who have lived there.

Does anyone have more details? I'm finding it fascinating!
Saturday 28 June 2014 1.36pm
What's the latest on this?

Noticed there is now a sign up saying 'Private Land, no access to Tate Modern or Millennium Bridge' - is that still not the case? If so surely it's outrageous they can put that up!!
Tuesday 16 August 2016 11.16am
Just remembered getting very intrigued in the politics of this mysterious alley while writing a blog a few years ago and here is the thread itself!

Will this situation change now that the Globe is planning to knock down its 'temporary' building and erecting a new structure across Skinmarket, essentially blocking the right of way (which has basically never existed for the last decade anyway).

Having just read the book about 'The House on the Thames' I feel strangely attached to Cardinal's Cap Alley and would love the opportunity to explore it in the future, though I can understand how the people who now live in that house may not be so keen now that tens of thousands of tourists go by every day!
Tuesday 6 September 2016 4.29pm
I used to pop in there on late night walks with my girlfriend for a moment of privacy many years back
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