Southwark Concourse

Southwark Concourse

Southwark Entrance

Southwark Entrance

Southwark Platform

Southwark Platform

 

Southwark is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Sudweca. The name means "southern defensive work" and is formed from the Old English sūth and weorc. Sometime about 886 AD, the 'burh' of Southwark was created and the Roman City area reoccupied. It was probably fortified to defend the bridge and hence the re-emerging City of London to the north. This defensive role is highlighted by the use of the bridge in 1016 as a defence against King Sweyn and his son King Cnut by Ethelred the Unready and again, in 1066, against King William the Conqueror. He failed to force the bridge during the Norman conquest of England, but Southwark was devastated. Just west of the Bridge was the 'Clink Liberty' manor, which was never controlled by the City, technically held under the Bishopric of Winchester's nominal authority. This area therefore became the entertainment district for London, and it was also the red-light area. In 1587, Southwark was given its first playhouse theatre, The Rose. The Rose was set up by Philip Henslowe, and soon became a popular place of entertainment for all classes of Londoners. Both Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare, two of the finest writers of the Elizabethan age, worked at the Rose.

 

Southwark station is in Travelcard Zone 1. It was opened on 20 November 1999 as part of the Jubilee Line Extension. The station is somewhat west of historic Southwark, which is served by Borough tube station and London Bridge station. It is on a cramped site with the platforms underneath the Victorian mainline viaduct between Waterloo East and London Bridge stations. The site presented significant technical and architectural difficulties which were resolved by constructing two concourses at different levels. The two platforms have platform screen doors which are meant to prevent passengers or debris from falling onto the tracks. They are connected at each end to the lower concourse which is a simple tunnel between the platforms and is illuminated by glass and steel "beacons" at each end, and is faced with stainless steel panels, deliberately left unpolished. Stairs lead up to a section of high floor in the central area of the tunnel, from where narrow tube-like escalator shafts lead sideways (south) to the higher concourse. The upper concourse is the centrepiece of the station. It is a space 16 metres (52 ft) high with a glass roof that allows daylight to enter deep into the station. It is faced with a spectacular glass wall, 40 metres (130 ft) long, consisting of 660 specially cut pieces of blue glass, which was designed by the artist Alexander Beleschenko. The wall is one of the extension's more celebrated architectural features, winning critical approval and a number of awards. The station has lifts, escalators, payphones and wi-fi.

 

Connections: National Rail. London Buses routes 45, 63, 100, 381 and RV1 and night routes N63, N89, N343, N381 serve the station.