Below and Above is a series of 3 tours of Southwark, City and Smithfield/Clerkenwell areas lead jointly by an archaeologist and an architect. The tours will give an insight into how the present City is influenced by and compares with the archaeological discoveries below.
Museum of London archaeologist Julian Bowsher walks around the streets of Bankside in the company of Ken Greig of Greig Stephenson Architects. The archaeologist describes what was found below and the architect describes the architecture above – a dialogue between past and present.
Bankside is part of Historic Southwark. Southwark's beginnings were as a series of islands surrounded by the Thames at high tide. With the building of the first London Bridge Southwark was transformed into a bridgehead settlement and a pattern that would last 1800 years was established, of a mixed settlement of houses, hostelries and industry. With the Industrial Revolution and the growth of the Empire the area was transformed into one of world's major industrial and warehousing centres whose buildings give Southwark its unique atmosphere today. In the 1980s the centre began a transformation first as an extension of the City of London and, secondly, with the building of the New Globe and Tate Modern, Bankside re-emerged as a cultural quarter and a new architectural landscape began to emerge.
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