Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Last Days of Summer – Southwark

The Golden Hinde - Crows Nest
The Crow's Nest of the Golden Hinde

The more I discover about the history of Southwark and the Borough, the more fascinated I am by this area. It is steeped in history dating back almost 1,000 years and nearly everywhere you look, you will find some little astonishing tidbit of history or significance. 

Last week Stephen paid a rare visit to Southwark when he came through to give his support for our annual pub quiz against our students.  I took the scenic route from our office to London Bridge and enjoyed the opportunity to play tour guide.

Southwark Cathedral - north western aspect
Southwark Cathedral

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in the very last days of summer and eventually I could no longer resist the urge to take some photographs.  I’ve worked on Borough High Street for over four years and still find it hard to walk past Southwark Cathedral, The Golden Hinde or, indeed, The Shard, without taking a photo.

Southwark Cathedral - eastern aspect
Southwark Cathedral

These photos were taking using Instagram on my iPhone 3GS. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they came out, especially the first two. 

I decided to share the photo below because one of my friends remarked that it looked very “Hogsmeade”.  I think a lot of England does look magical and quaint and we take that for granted when we live here.  But I have to remember that I was once an Anglophile too, fascinated by everything British and loving the ideas that the Harry Potter books evoked.

In my next post I’ll feature an astonishing piece of architecture that sits just off a major high street.  It should thrill fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Borough Market
Borough Market

I'm happy to announce that The Shard has a baby sister.  The Place at London Bridge Quarter is currently at 20 stories but appears to have flown up in comparison to The Shard.  I cannot wait until all of this work is finished.  I want shiny and new already because dusty and in-progress is getting boring.

The Shard and The Place
The Shard and The Place at London Bridge Quarter


Melissa from Wanderlust is organising a meetup this Saturday at a ceramics cafe in Greenwich. You don't have to be a skilled pottery maker to join in as you are provided with a finished product which you can then paint.  It is a LOT of fun and if you are a blogger, expat or simply want to join in, please get in touch on Melissa’s blog or here.

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21 comments

  1. Lovely pics- amazing that the first were taken with a phone. I can't make the meetup this time but will be there will bells on for the next one.

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  2. Oh, by the way, I thought that Southwark was pronouned "South-wark" for the longest time until a Brit corrected me!

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  3. it is a fascinating area - I could not believe the Shard when I saw it - what's that all about?

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  4. Always a great part of London to walk around. I espcially like it late at night when it's dark and the buildings are all lit up. Hopefully the last few weeks of summer we will have lots of nice sunny weather...

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  5. I would have never guessed the pic was with a phone.
    Sad to say goodbye to summer, but the crisp weather and light in autumn should give you some more great photo opportunities!

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  6. How neat! Pix of ancient lovely cathedral and so-futuristic-looking lovely shard!

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  7. such a great sense of peace in this beautifully maintained Cathedral. i bet the Shard will look shiny and glassy upon completion.

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  8. Oh I love places full of history. I like to stand there and imagine what it was like back in the day!

    By way apologies for the riduculous delay in visiting you. Got caught up in loads work and family issues lately. I wont bore you with it lol ... Hope you are well x

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  9. Today is nice, and the weekend should be good, so, hopefully, a few days yet!

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  10. I love wandering around Southwark for the new/old contrast of the buildings. Nice captures!

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  11. The Market narrow street looks very misterious! Interesting places!

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  12. Beautiful Emm..and wow..LOVE the second shot..very cool! Wishing you a very happy end of summer..and beautiful beginning of Autumn!
    HUgs and sparkles
    V~

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  13. Love the shot in the Burough Market!

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  14. I remember visiting the Golden Hinde in San Francisco Bay as a child. I wonder if it is the same replica ship. Is The Place a hotel? It looks taller than 20 stories in your photo. Looks like a lovely place to stay. There must be lots of construction going on in your city these days with the Olympics just around the corner.

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  15. I remember asking for directions for the "south-wark" tube station one of my first weeks there. A bit embarrassing when I was corrected, by another American no doubt.

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  16. Wonderful pictures, especially the Cathedral and the great light shining of it.
    Hope you have a nice weekend:-)

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  17. Ever since I was a wee boy I've been fascinated with old pirate ships, do you think they would let me climb the crows nest?

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  18. Every once in awhile I'll catch a glimpse of something that, if I squint a little, could be me walking into a Harry Potter novel...or, into Victorian England. I love that about living here -- I feel just a quick trip through a wrinkle in time, and it's easy to be somewhere else.

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  19. There's a flower shop in Borough Market called 'Chez Marie' and it is a location for THE LEAKY CAULDRON in one of the HP movies. The Knight Bus stopped outside this shop in Prisoner of Azkaban. Just a bit of HP knowledge thrown into the mix!

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  20. I love the Borough Market. ;)
    Nice food and drinks.

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  21. Oh my hat! I can believe I never replied to comers on this post! How rude (followed swiftly by "where did October go?").

    @ Oneika: they were all taken with my iPhone! I really should get into the habit of carrying a camera around in my handbag. Don't worry though, many people make the mistake of calling it South-wark. Equally confusing is Borough which is not pronounced Burrow but more like Burra.

    @ David: well, London Bridge station certainly needed a serious overhaul so I guess they figured it was as good a time as any to build the tallest building in Europe there! You can read more about the Shard by visiting my The Shard label.

    @ William: we certainly got a sunny and warm October, didn't we?

    @ Li: they were all taken with my iPhone! October was mostly warm but the cold weather has brought with it a whole lot of colds, flu and sore throats!

    @ Kathy: yes! I do love the juxtaposition of old and new in this area.

    @ Life Ramblings: I hope so! It is looking a bit dull at th moment.

    @ Tina: me too! And don't worry. I know how life gets in the way sometimes.

    @ John: wasn't October just gorgoeus?

    @ Danielle: I agree, I just love working in Southwark. It is a charming place!

    @ Ola: Borough Market is quite beautiful to see as it is tucked away beneath the railway bridges and beside Southwark cathedral.

    @ Victoria: thank you! I am really taking the time to appreciate this autumn and am loving the colours and autumn fashions.

    @ The Astral Cowboy: thank you! I just wish it had come out clearer.

    @ Karen: it might have been the same replica abi believe this one has taken a fair amount of journeys too! The Shard will be 76 storeys high and will have a hotel. The smaller Place will have offices and retail, I think.

    @ Sarah: many people make that mistake!!!

    @ Spiderdama: Southwark Cathedral is just stunning.

    @ Ryan: I love everything pirate too. You can definitely climb all over the ship, but perhaps not up to the crow's nest.

    @ Sarah B: I'm guessing you're a fan of the book A Wrinkle in Time? I love that about the United Kingdom too. It is magical.

    @ Jen: awesome! I must go on a Harry Potter tour soon

    @ London Caller: me too!









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