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South Bank
South Bank
is an entertainment and commercial district in central London, next to the River Thames
River Thames
opposite the City of Westminster. It forms a narrow, disproportionate strip of riverside land within the London Borough of Lambeth
London Borough of Lambeth
and the London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
where it joins Bankside. As with most central London districts, its edges evolve and are informally defined. However, its central area is bounded by Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge
and Blackfriars Bridge. Its name was adopted during the Festival of Britain
Festival of Britain
over the local less attractive name of ' Lambeth
Lambeth
Marsh'; it includes the County Hall complex, the Sea Life London Aquarium, the London Dungeon, Jubilee Gardens and the London Eye, the Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall
Royal Festival Hall
and National Theatre, among its long list of attractions. Both the County Hall and the Shell Centre have major residential uses. South Bank
South Bank
is 800 metres southeast of Charing Cross. South Bank
South Bank
developed later than the 'North Bank' of the river due to its formerly often waterlogged condition in winter. Throughout its history, it has twice functioned as an entertainment district, interspersed by around a hundred years of wharfs, domestic industry and manufacturing being its dominant use.[1] Restoration began in 1917 with the construction of County Hall at Lambeth
Lambeth
replacing the Lion Brewery. Its Coade stone
Coade stone
symbol was retained and placed on a pedestal at Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge
and is known as the South Bank
South Bank
Lion.[1] The pedestrianised embankment is The Queen's Walk, which is part of the Albert Embankment
Albert Embankment
built not only for public drainage but also to raise the whole tract of land to prevent flooding.[1] In 1951 the Festival of Britain
Festival of Britain
redefined the area as a place for arts and entertainment. It now forms a significant tourist district in central London, stretching from Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge
in the east to Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge
in the west. A series of central London bridges connect the area to the northern bank of the Thames Golden Jubilee and Waterloo Bridge.[1]

Contents

1 History 2 Geography 3 Cultural aspects 4 Transport 5 References 6 External links

History[edit]

Royal Festival Hall
Royal Festival Hall
c1959 and the now-demolished Shot Tower.

During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
this area developed as a place of entertainment outside the formal regulation of the City of London
City of London
on the north bank; this included theatres, prostitution and bear-baiting.[1] By the 18th century the more genteel entertainment of the pleasure gardens had developed. The shallow bank and mud flats were ideal locations for industry and docks and went on to develop as an industrial location in a patchwork of private ownership.[1] There was a shift in use when the London County Council
London County Council
required a new County Hall, which was built between 1917 and 1922 on the south bank near North Lambeth's Lower Marsh.[1] The construction of County Hall returned the first section of river frontage to public use. This was extended eastwards in 1951 when the Festival of Britain
Festival of Britain
caused a considerable area to be redeveloped.[1] It was renamed 'South Bank' as part of promoting the Festival. The legacy of the festival was mixed, with buildings and exhibits demolished to make way for Jubilee Gardens, whilst the Royal Festival Hall and The Queen's Walk were retained as part of the Southbank Centre.[1] During the years following the festival the arts and entertainment complex grew with additional facilities, including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and other arts venues opened along the river such as the Royal National Theatre. Geography[edit]

The National Theatre is one of the collection of arts buildings on the South Bank.

The South Bank
South Bank
stretches two square miles (5 square kilometres) along the southern bank of the River Thames. The western section is in the Bishops ward of the London Borough of Lambeth, and the eastern section is in the London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
where it joins Bankside.[2] There is a significant amount of public open space along the riverside. Between the London Studios and the Oxo Tower lies Bernie Spain Gardens, named after Bernadette Spain,[3] a local community activist who was part of the Coin Street Action Group.[4][5] Cultural aspects[edit] The South Bank
South Bank
is a significant arts and entertainment district. The Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre
comprises the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Hayward
The Hayward
Gallery. The Royal National Theatre, the London IMAX
London IMAX
super cinema and BFI Southbank
BFI Southbank
adjoin to the east, but are not strictly part of the centre. County Hall is non-administrative and has been converted into The London Marriott Hotel
Marriott Hotel
County Hall, Sea Life London Aquarium
Sea Life London Aquarium
and the London Dungeon. The OXO Tower
OXO Tower
Wharf
Wharf
is towards the eastern end of South Bank, and houses Gallery@Oxo, shops and boutiques, and the OXO Tower
OXO Tower
Restaurant run by Harvey Nichols.

Gabriel's Wharf
Wharf
in 2000

Gabriel's Wharf
Wharf
is a redeveloped wharf on the South Bank, located at 56 Upper Ground, London. It has been converted into a shopping area. Nearby places include the Oxo Tower and Bernie Spain Gardens. The London Studios, the main home of ITV faces the Thames and Rambert Dance Company have their new studios on Upper Ground. The Old Vic
Old Vic
and Young Vic
Young Vic
theatres are also nearby. The Florence Nightingale Museum
Florence Nightingale Museum
to nursing, medicine and the Crimean War adjoins the 'district'. Part of the Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre
under the Queen Elizabeth Hall
Queen Elizabeth Hall
is known as the undercroft, and has been used by the skateboarding community since the early 1970s. Originally an architectural dead-spot, it has become a landmark of British skateboarding culture. The size of the under-croft has been reduced in recent years and was supposed to be returned to original size. This now seems unlikely and the future of the whole space is completely unsure at present with campaigns for its future survival being fought by the Long Live Southbank
Long Live Southbank
campaign. Part of the Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre
has been turned into shops looking out over the river. The South Bank
South Bank
was the main scene of the 1952 comedy film The Happy Family, which is set around the Festival of Britain.

Graffiti and skaters in the undercroft at South Bank

Transport[edit] Part of the success of the area as a visitor attraction is attributed to the high levels of public transport access. Several major railway terminals are within walking distance of the South Bank, on both sides of the river, including Waterloo, Charing Cross
Charing Cross
and Blackfriars. The London Underground has stations on or near the South Bank, from west to east, at Westminster, Waterloo, Embankment, Blackfriars and Southwark. The development of the Thameslink Blackfriars station
Blackfriars station
in the early 2010s, which has access from both the southern and northern side of the river, prompted the additional named signage "for Bankside
Bankside
and South Bank". Accessibility to the north bank is high with connections made, from west to east, over the Westminster, Golden Jubilee, Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges. The river is utilised as a means of transport with piers along the South Bank
South Bank
at the London Eye, Royal Festival Hall and Bankside.

South Bank
South Bank
by night. Showing the illuminated National Theatre (right side of image), facing east; towards the City of London

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h i Farrell, Terry (2010). Shaping London. John Wiley & Sons.  ^ London Gazetteer of Street Names ^ "Bernie Spain Gardens". coinstreet.org. Coin Street Community Builders. Retrieved 18 March 2015.  ^ "Gabriel's Wharf". thamespathway.com. 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2014.  ^ "Bernie Spain Gardens". www.london-se1.co.uk. Bankside
Bankside
Press. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to South Bank.

London/ South Bank
South Bank
travel guide from Wikivoyage South Bank
South Bank
London Southbank Centre

v t e

London Borough of Lambeth

Districts

Brixton Clapham Clapham
Clapham
Park Crystal Palace Gipsy Hill Grange Mills Herne Hill Kennington Knight's Hill Lambeth Loughborough Junction Norbury Oval South Bank South Lambeth Stockwell Streatham Streatham
Streatham
Vale Tulse Hill Upper Norwood Vauxhall Waterloo West Dulwich West Norwood

Attractions

Ashby's Mill BFI Southbank Black Cultural Archives The Chocolate Museum Garden Museum Florence Nightingale Museum Imperial War Museum Lambeth
Lambeth
Archives Lambeth
Lambeth
Palace London County Hall London Eye Lower Marsh Market The Old Vic Oval Cricket Ground Ovalhouse Sea Life London Aquarium South Bank Southbank Centre

Royal National Theatre BFI Southbank Royal Festival Hall Queen Elizabeth Hall Purcell Room Hayward

South London
South London
Theatre White Bear Theatre Young Vic

Bridges

Hungerford Lambeth Westminster Vauxhall Waterloo

Parks and open spaces

Archbishop's Park Brockwell Park Clapham
Clapham
Common Jubilee Gardens Kennington
Kennington
Park Larkhall Park Loughborough Junction Mostyn Gardens Myatt's Fields Park Norbury
Norbury
Park Norwood Park Pedlar's Park Ruskin Park Streatham
Streatham
Common Streatham
Streatham
Vale Park Vauxhall
Vauxhall
Park Vauxhall
Vauxhall
Spring Gardens

Constituencies

Streatham Vauxhall Dulwich
Dulwich
and West Norwood

Tube, rail, and riverboat stations

Brixton

rail tube

Clapham
Clapham
Common Clapham
Clapham
North Clapham
Clapham
High Street Gipsy Hill Herne Hill Lambeth
Lambeth
North Loughborough Junction Norbury
Norbury
railway station Oval Stockwell Streatham Streatham
Streatham
Common Streatham
Streatham
Hill Tulse Hill Vauxhall Wandsworth Road Waterloo Waterloo East West Norwood

Other topics

Council Grade I and II* listed buildings People Public art Schools The Lambeth
Lambeth
Walk

v t e

London Borough of Southwark

Districts

Bankside Bermondsey Borough/Southwark Camberwell Crystal Palace Denmark Hill Dulwich Dulwich
Dulwich
Village East Dulwich Elephant and Castle Herne Hill Honor Oak Newington Nunhead Peckham Peckham
Peckham
Rye Rotherhithe South Bank South Bermondsey Surrey Quays Sydenham Hill Upper Norwood Walworth West Dulwich

Attractions

Bankside
Bankside
Gallery Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum Brunel Museum City Hall The Clink Cuming Museum Dulwich
Dulwich
Picture Gallery Fire Brigade Museum Globe Theatre Greenwood Theatre Hay's Galleria Herne Hill
Herne Hill
Stadium House of Dreams Museum HMS Belfast Imperial War Museum Livesey Museum for Children London Dungeon Mandela Way T-34 Tank Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret The Old Vic OXO Tower Pumphouse Educational Museum Purdy Hicks Gallery Rose Theatre Sam Wanamaker Playhouse The Shard South Bank South London
South London
Gallery Southwark
Southwark
Cathedral Tate Modern Unicorn Theatre Winchester Palace

Markets

Borough East Street

Bridges and tunnels

Blackfriars Bridge Blackfriars Railway Bridge Cannon Street Railway Bridge London Bridge Millennium Bridge Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe
Tunnel Southwark
Southwark
Bridge Tower Bridge Waterloo Bridge

Parks and open spaces

Belair Park Bermondsey
Bermondsey
Spa Gardens Brimmington Park Burgess Park Dickens Square Park Dulwich
Dulwich
Park Faraday Gardens Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park Little Dorrit Park Newington Gardens Southwark
Southwark
Park Tabard Park

Constituencies

Camberwell
Camberwell
and Peckham North Southwark
Southwark
and Bermondsey Dulwich
Dulwich
and West Norwood

Tube and rail stations

Bermondsey Borough Canada Water Denmark Hill Elephant and Castle Kennington London Bridge Nunhead Queens Road Peckham Peckham
Peckham
Rye Rotherhithe South Bermondsey Southwark Surrey Quays Sydenham Hill West Dulwich

Other topics

Council Grade I and II* listed buildings People Public art Schools

v t e

Sub-regions of London

NUTS 2

Inner London Outer London

Boundary Commission

North London South London

London Plan

Sub-regions used in the London Plan

Other

Central London Docklands East End South Bank Thames Gateway (London Riverside Lower Lea Valley) West End

Mayor of London, (April 2009), A new plan for London: Proposals for the Mayor's London Plan, (PDF; 1,4 MB), Greater London
Greater London
Authority, ISBN

.