Rotherhithe
Overview
 
Rotherhithe is a residential district in inner southeast London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England and part of the London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.-History:...

. It is located on a peninsula
Peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

 on the south bank of the Thames, facing Wapping
Wapping
Wapping is a place in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets which forms part of the Docklands to the east of the City of London. It is situated between the north bank of the River Thames and the ancient thoroughfare simply called The Highway...

 and the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
The Isle of Dogs is a former island in the East End of London that is bounded on three sides by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames.-Etymology:...

 on the north bank, and is a part of the Docklands area. It borders Bermondsey
Bermondsey
Bermondsey is an area in London on the south bank of the river Thames, and is part of the London Borough of Southwark. To the west lies Southwark, to the east Rotherhithe, and to the south, Walworth and Peckham.-Toponomy:...

 to the west and Deptford
Deptford
Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...

 to the south east.

Rotherhithe was a port until the 20th century and had many shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

s from Elizabethan
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

 times until the early 20th Century.
Encyclopedia
Rotherhithe is a residential district in inner southeast London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England and part of the London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.-History:...

. It is located on a peninsula
Peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

 on the south bank of the Thames, facing Wapping
Wapping
Wapping is a place in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets which forms part of the Docklands to the east of the City of London. It is situated between the north bank of the River Thames and the ancient thoroughfare simply called The Highway...

 and the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
The Isle of Dogs is a former island in the East End of London that is bounded on three sides by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames.-Etymology:...

 on the north bank, and is a part of the Docklands area. It borders Bermondsey
Bermondsey
Bermondsey is an area in London on the south bank of the river Thames, and is part of the London Borough of Southwark. To the west lies Southwark, to the east Rotherhithe, and to the south, Walworth and Peckham.-Toponomy:...

 to the west and Deptford
Deptford
Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...

 to the south east.

Rotherhithe was a port until the 20th century and had many shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

s from Elizabethan
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

 times until the early 20th Century. With the arrival of the Jubilee line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

 in 1999 (giving quick connections to the West End
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

 and to Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

) and the London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 in 2010 (providing a quick route to the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

), the area is now a rapidly gentrifying
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 residential and commuter area, with regeneration focused around a new urban centre at Canada Water
Canada Water
Canada Water is a freshwater lake and wildlife refuge in Rotherhithe in the Docklands in south-east London. Canada Water tube and bus station is named after the lake, and lies immediately to the north, while Surrey Quays Shopping Centre is also adjacent, sitting immediately to the south...

.

Etymology

The name "Rotherhithe" derives from the Anglo-Saxon
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

 rother for sailor, and hyth for haven or wharf, or from hrther hth meaning "Landing-place for cattle". The first recorded use of this name was in about 1105, as Rederheia. In the past Rotherhithe was also known as Redriff or Redriffe, however until the early 19th century, this name was applied to the whole river front from St Saviour's Dock
St Saviour's Dock
St Saviour's Dock is a small dock on the south bank of the River Thames, London. It is located approximately 400 metres east of Tower Bridge and forms the eastern boundary of the picturesque and historic area of London known as Shad Thames...

 to Bull Head Dock.

Description

Although the docks were closed and largely filled in during the 1980s, and have now been replaced by modern housing and commercial facilities, Rotherhithe is still given a large part of its character by its former maritime heritage. The largest surviving dock on the south bank, Greenland Dock
Greenland Dock
Greenland Dock is the oldest of London's riverside wet docks, located in Rotherhithe in the area of the city now known as Docklands. It used to be part of the Surrey Commercial Docks, most of which have by now been filled in...

, is the focal point for the southern part of the district, while there are many preserved wharves along the riverside at the north end of Rotherhithe. St. Mary's Church
St. Mary's Church, Rotherhithe
St Mary's Church, Rotherhithe is the local Church of England parish church in Rotherhithe, formerly in Surrey and now part of south east London. The parish is now within the diocese of Southwark and under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Fulham...

 is at the centre of the old town of Rotherhithe village, which contains various historic buildings including the Brunel Engine House
Brunel Engine House
The Brunel Museum is a museum in the Brunel Engine House, Rotherhithe, London Borough of Southwark. The Engine House was designed by Sir Marc Isambard Brunel to be part of the infrastructure of the Thames Tunnel.-Brunel Engine House:...

 at the south end of the Thames Tunnel.
Canada Dock (now re-named Canada Water) was the dock basin furthest away from the River Thames in the Surrey Docks complex, and it was linked to Albion Dock and Greenland Dock at its northern and south-eastern extremities via the Albion Canal. The remodelling of this dock has resulted in the northwest half of the dock being retained as an ornamental lake, now renamed Canada Water. The canal has remained as a walkway and water feature within the re-developed area.

Rotherhithe is the traditional home of the football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 team, Fisher F.C.
Fisher F.C.
Fisher F.C. are a non-League football team based in Bermondsey, London Borough of Southwark, England who play in the Kent League.-Formation:...

, although the team currently ground-share with Dulwich Hamlet. The most popular team in Rotherhithe is Millwall Football Club
Millwall F.C.
Millwall Football Club is an English professional football club based in South Bermondsey, south east London, that plays in the Football League Championship, the second tier of English football. Founded as Millwall Rovers in 1885, the club has retained its name despite having last played in the...

 located nearby in the boundaries of the London Borough of Lewisham
London Borough of Lewisham
The London Borough of Lewisham is a London borough in south-east London, England and forms part of Inner London. The principal settlement of the borough is Lewisham...

.

The sustainable transport charity Sustrans
Sustrans
Sustrans is a British charity to promote sustainable transport. The charity is currently working on a number of practical projects to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport, to give people the choice of "travelling in ways that benefit their health and the environment"...

 has proposed the construction of a bicycle and pedestrian swing bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

, and cost-benefit and feasibility studies were undertaken. In January 2009 the London Mayor Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...

 said he would not fund the bridge, citing budget cuts due to the credit crunch, with the result that the project is effectively on ice for the time being.

King's Stairs Gardens

King's Stairs Gardens
King's Stairs Gardens
King's Stairs Gardens is a park in London.-Beginnings:In July 1947 the London County Council declared Bermondsey a Reconstruction Area, and as part of wholesale post-war regeneration approved the idea of extending Southwark Park to the river...

 is a small park on the river towards the Bermondsey
Bermondsey
Bermondsey is an area in London on the south bank of the river Thames, and is part of the London Borough of Southwark. To the west lies Southwark, to the east Rotherhithe, and to the south, Walworth and Peckham.-Toponomy:...

 boundary.It is well known and often frequented by locals. In September 2011 Thames water
Thames Water
Thames Water Utilities Ltd, known as Thames Water, is the private utility company responsible for the public water supply and waste water treatment in large parts of Greater London, the Thames Valley, Surrey, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Kent, and some other areas of in the United Kingdom...

 announced that they wanted to build an access shaft
Shaft (civil engineering)
In civil engineering a shaft is an underground vertical or inclined passageway. Shafts are constructed for a number of reasons including:* For the construction of a tunnel* For ventilation of a tunnel or underground structure...

 for the super-sewer Thames Tunnel
Thames Tunnel
The Thames Tunnel is an underwater tunnel, built beneath the River Thames in London, United Kingdom, connecting Rotherhithe and Wapping. It measures 35 feet wide by 20 feet high and is 1,300 feet long, running at a depth of 75 feet below the river's surface...

. Due to local action by The Save King's Stairs Gardens Campaign, which collected over five thousand signatures, as of March 2011 it seems that Thames water will build the access shaft at an alternative site; providing that the local community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 is in agreement.

Local landmarks and history

Severn Islands leisure centre occupies the site of the old Rotherhithe Town Hall. The building ceased to be a town hall in 1905 when the former Rotherhithe Council merged with the the old Bermondsey Borough Council and the new council used premises in Spa road. The old Rotherhithe Town Hall became a library and a museum. It was razed to the ground by repeated bomb hits and near misses during the Second Word War (see below).

Rotherhithe had its own general hospital, St Olave's Hospital
St Olave's Hospital
St Olave's Hospital was a general hospital serving the Rotherhithe area of London until its closure in 1985.-History:Built originally as the Rotherhithe Infirmary in Deptford Lower Road , Rotherhithe, London in the early 1870s on land adjoining Rotherhithe Workhouse, the buildings became the...

, on Lower Road close to the old Town Hall. Built originally in the early 1870s on land adjoining Rotherhithe Workhouse, it became the infirmary of St Olave's Union in 1875, and was renamed St Olave's Hospital in 1930. Subsequently becoming part of the Guy's Hospital Teaching Group in 1966, it closed in 1985 and the site has been redeveloped into the residential Ann Moss Way.

When the roundabout facing the Rotherhithe Tunnel was redeveloped in the early 1980s, several nineteenth century buildings were demolished including a school and a nunnery. A public house described in an early twentieth century history of the area as one its oldest, was also demolished.

Scandinavian connection

Because much of the former Surrey Docks had strong trade links to Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 and the Baltic
Balts
The Balts or Baltic peoples , defined as speakers of one of the Baltic languages, a branch of the Indo-European language family, are descended from a group of Indo-European tribes who settled the area between the Jutland peninsula in the west and Moscow, Oka and Volga rivers basins in the east...

 region the area is still home to a thriving Scandinavian community. During World War II, in fact, it housed the Norwegian Government-in-Exile. Originally established as seafarers' missions, Rotherhithe is home to a Norwegian
Church of Norway
The Church of Norway is the state church of Norway, established after the Lutheran reformation in Denmark-Norway in 1536-1537 broke the ties to the Holy See. The church confesses the Lutheran Christian faith...

, a Finnish
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is the national church of Finland. The church professes the Lutheran branch of Christianity, and is a member of the Porvoo Communion....

 and a Swedish
Church of Sweden
The Church of Sweden is the largest Christian church in Sweden. The church professes the Lutheran faith and is a member of the Porvoo Communion. With 6,589,769 baptized members, it is the largest Lutheran church in the world, although combined, there are more Lutherans in the member churches of...

 church. The Finnish Church and the Norwegian Church are both located in Albion Street; they were built in 1958 and 1927 respectively (Rotherhithe Library is located between them). There are also a number of "community centres" for the Nordic community in London, including hostels, shops and cafés and even a sauna
Sauna
A sauna is a small room or house designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, or an establishment with one or more of these and auxiliary facilities....

, mostly linked closely to the churches.

Some of the redeveloped areas were built by Nordic
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 architects, such as the Greenland Passage development by Danish Company Kjaer & Richter. This gives some areas a distinctly "Nordic" feel in terms of house and street design.

The relationship with Scandinavia and the Baltic is also reflected in the names of some of the buildings (such as the King Frederik IX Tower), the street names (e.g. Finland Street, Sweden Gate, Baltic Quay
Baltic Quay
Baltic Quay is a large residential development, located in Surrey Quays in the London Borough of Southwark. Completed in 1989 during the London Docklands Development Corporation, it is largely known for its unique architecture, which won it awards from the London Docklands Development Corporation...

, Norway Gate, Helsinki Square) or other place names (e.g. Greenland Dock
Greenland Dock
Greenland Dock is the oldest of London's riverside wet docks, located in Rotherhithe in the area of the city now known as Docklands. It used to be part of the Surrey Commercial Docks, most of which have by now been filled in...

). Another major influence factor was trade with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 (mainly timber), reflected in names such as Canada Water
Canada Water
Canada Water is a freshwater lake and wildlife refuge in Rotherhithe in the Docklands in south-east London. Canada Water tube and bus station is named after the lake, and lies immediately to the north, while Surrey Quays Shopping Centre is also adjacent, sitting immediately to the south...

 and the Russia Dock Woodland.

Indian Connection

Other connections include with the Indian subcontinent, with wharves being named Bombay Court and East India court. A neo-Indian community has also now found root here with many young upcoming Indian professionals moving to London to work in the technology, financial services and legal professions. The proximity to the City and Canary Wharf has made this a convenient choice and hub for graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology.

Mayflower

In July 1620 the Mayflower
Mayflower
The Mayflower was the ship that transported the English Separatists, better known as the Pilgrims, from a site near the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, , in 1620...

 sailed from Rotherhithe for Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

 on the south coast of England, to begin loading food and supplies for the voyage to New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

. At this time the English Separatists
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

, who later became known as the "Pilgrim Fathers" were mostly still living in the city of Leiden, in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. Here they hired a ship called the Speedwell
Speedwell (ship)
The Speedwell was a 60-ton ship, the smaller of the two ships intended to carry the Pilgrim Fathers to North America...

 to take them from Delfthaven in the Netherlands to Southampton to meet up with the Mayflower.

The ship's captain, Christopher Jones, died shortly after his return in 1621 and he is buried in an unmarked grave at St Mary's Church. The Mayflower sailed from near a public house
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

 called the Shippe in Rotherhithe Street, which was substantially rebuilt in the 18th century and is now named the Mayflower.

China Hall

On Lower Road, about half way between Surrey Quays and Canada Water stations is a public house called the China Hall, at one time it was the entrance to a riparian playhouse visited by Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys FRS, MP, JP, was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man...

 and mentioned in his Diary. It is not know how long the theatre remain on the site, but it was reinvigorated in 1777 and during 1778 George Frederick Cooke
George Frederick Cooke
George Frederick Cooke was an English actor. As famous for his erratic habits as for his acting, he was largely responsible for initiating the romantic style in acting that was later made famous by Edmund Kean.-Career:Although he claimed to have been born in Westminster, it seems likely that he...

 acted there, but in the winter of 1779 it was destroyed in fire. The site of the theatre became a well known tea-gardens, with the "usual arbours and 'boxes'" during the Victorian period, but by the 1920s most of the gardens had been absorbed into the Surrey Commercial Docks as part of a timber yard.

Second World War

Like the rest of the London Docks, the Surrey Commercial Docks were targeted by the Luftwaffe. On 7 September 1940 on the first day of the London Blitz the deal yards of Surrey Docks were set ablaze. The raid ignited the timber in Quebec Yard causing the most intense single fire ever seen in Britain.

The bombing of the old Rotherhithe Town Hall, during the London Blitz and later in Second World War, gives an indication of how heavy the bombing in Rotherhithe was. The first damaged to the building occurred when Luftwaffe bombs landed near by in April 1941, and again in February and mid-June 1944. Later the same month (June 1944) it was very severely damaged by a direct hit by a V1 doodlebug. In November 1944 it was further damaged by near misses only to be destroyed by one of the last V1s to land on London during the Second World War.

Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

's King Haakon VII
Haakon VII of Norway
Haakon VII , known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the personal union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg...

 and the majority of his parliament established a government in exile in Rotherhithe from June 1940 until June 1945.

Geography

Rotherhithe is joined to the north bank of the Thames by three tunnels. The Thames Tunnel to Wapping was the first underwater tunnel in the world. Built by the Brunels originally to carry cross river freight, it became a pedestrian tunnel, due to the money running out to build the necessary ramps. It is now occupied by the London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 network, which on 27 April 2010 started running trains on the route of the former East London Line
East London Line
The East London Line is a London Overground line which runs north to south through the East End, Docklands and South areas of London.Built in 1869 by the East London Railway Company, which reused the Thames Tunnel, originally intended for horse-drawn carriages, the line became part of the London...

. The later Rotherhithe Tunnel
Rotherhithe Tunnel
The Rotherhithe Tunnel is a road tunnel crossing beneath the River Thames in East London. It connects the Ratcliff district of Limehouse in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets north of the river to Rotherhithe in the London Borough of Southwark south of the river. It is designated as the A101...

 (opened 1908) carries a two-lane road to Limehouse. The Jubilee Line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

 extension (opened 1999) has a railway tunnel to Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

 in the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
The Isle of Dogs is a former island in the East End of London that is bounded on three sides by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames.-Etymology:...

.

In places Rotherhithe Street was at one time or another called Jamaica Street, Lavender Street, Low Queen Street, Queen Street, Redriff Wall, Redriff, Rotherhithe Wall, Shipwright Street and Trinity Street.

Rotherhithe is part of the SE16 postcode district. Electorally, the western half is Rotherhithe ward and the eastern half Surrey Docks ward.

As much of Rotherhithe was covered by the now-defunct Surrey Commercial Docks
Surrey Commercial Docks
The Surrey Commercial Docks were a large group of docks in Rotherhithe on the south bank of the Thames in South East London. The docks operated in one form or another from 1696 to 1969...

, the district is sometimes referred to as Surrey Docks or (since the late 1980s) Surrey Quays
Surrey Quays
Surrey Quays is a name given to a largely residential area of Rotherhithe in south-east London, occupied until 1970 by the Surrey Commercial Docks...

, though the latter name tends to be used more for the southern half of the peninsula. An eastern part, which became in effect an island when the docks were in use and locks open, is called "Downtown". This name was never related to the idea of a "downtown
Downtown
Downtown is a term primarily used in North America by English speakers to refer to a city's core or central business district ....

" in the American sense, and indeed this part of Rotherhithe has since the 1980s been quiet and suburban in nature.

Notable people

  • Marc Isambard Brunel
    Marc Isambard Brunel
    Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, FRS FRSE was a French-born engineer who settled in England. He preferred the name Isambard, but is generally known to history as Marc to avoid confusion with his more famous son Isambard Kingdom Brunel...

     and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel
    Isambard Kingdom Brunel
    Isambard Kingdom Brunel, FRS , was a British civil engineer who built bridges and dockyards including the construction of the first major British railway, the Great Western Railway; a series of steamships, including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship; and numerous important bridges...

     built the Thames Tunnel
    Thames Tunnel
    The Thames Tunnel is an underwater tunnel, built beneath the River Thames in London, United Kingdom, connecting Rotherhithe and Wapping. It measures 35 feet wide by 20 feet high and is 1,300 feet long, running at a depth of 75 feet below the river's surface...

     connecting Rotherhithe and Wapping.
  • Max Bygraves
    Max Bygraves
    Max Bygraves OBE is an English comedian, singer, actor and variety performer. He appeared on his own television shows, sometimes performing comedy sketches between songs...

    , born in Rotherhithe.
  • Michael Caine
    Michael Caine
    Sir Michael Caine, CBE is an English actor. He won Academy Awards for best supporting actor in both Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules ....

    , born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in Rotherhithe.
  • Eliza Fay
    Eliza Fay
    Eliza Fay was an English letter-writer and traveller.-Early life:...

    , author of Original Letters from India (1817), was born in Rotherhithe.
  • Malcolm Hardee
    Malcolm Hardee
    Malcolm Hardee was an English comedian, author, comedy club proprietor, compère, agent, manager and "amateur sensationalist"....

     lived on a houseboat in Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, and owned and ran the Wibbley Wobbley pub-boat on the same dock, and drowned there in 2005.
  • Alfred Hitchcock
    Alfred Hitchcock
    Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

     filmed scenes for his first film as director, Number 13
    Number 13 (film)
    In 1922 Alfred Hitchcock obtained his first shot at directing for Gainsborough Pictures with the film Number 13 .The film was to star Clare Greet and Ernest Thesiger as husband and wife...

    (1922), in Rotherhithe before it was pulled from production.
  • Myleene Klass
    Myleene Klass
    Myleene Angela Quinn is an English singer, pianist, media personality and occasional model. She was formerly a member of the defunct British pop band Hear'Say.-Early life:...

     lived in Rotherhithe in the early 2000s.
  • Princess Margaret met her future husband, photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones, in a house in Rotherhithe.
  • James Walker
    James Walker (engineer)
    James Walker, FRS, was an influential Scottish civil engineer of the first half of the 19th century.Walker was born in Falkirk and was apprenticed to his uncle Ralph Walker in approximately 1800, with whom he gained experience working on the design and construction of the West India and East India...

     worked on the design and construction of Greenland Dock
    Greenland Dock
    Greenland Dock is the oldest of London's riverside wet docks, located in Rotherhithe in the area of the city now known as Docklands. It used to be part of the Surrey Commercial Docks, most of which have by now been filled in...

    , where a memorial bust
    Bust (sculpture)
    A bust is a sculpted or cast representation of the upper part of the human figure, depicting a person's head and neck, as well as a variable portion of the chest and shoulders. The piece is normally supported by a plinth. These forms recreate the likeness of an individual...

     of him stands.

Cultural references

  • In the popular television drama series Upstairs, Downstairs
    Upstairs, Downstairs
    Upstairs, Downstairs is a British drama television series originally produced by London Weekend Television and revived by the BBC. It ran on ITV in 68 episodes divided into five series from 1971 to 1975, and a sixth series shown on the BBC on three consecutive nights, 26–28 December 2010.Set in a...

    the character James Bellamy
    James Bellamy
    Major The Honourable James Rupert Bellamy MC is a fictional character in the ITV period drama Upstairs, Downstairs, that was originally broadcast for five series from 1971 to 1975...

     stands as a Conservative Party
    Conservative Party (UK)
    The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

     candidate for the constituency of Rotherhithe East.
  • In the James Bond
    James Bond
    James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

     film Tomorrow Never Dies
    Tomorrow Never Dies
    Tomorrow Never Dies is the eighteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Bruce Feirstein wrote the screenplay, and it was directed by Roger Spottiswoode. It follows Bond as he tries to stop a media mogul from engineering...

    , Harmsworth Quays Printing was used as the scene for Carver's print works.
  • Redriff was the fictional birthplace of Jonathan Swift
    Jonathan Swift
    Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

    's character Lemuel Gulliver, of Gulliver's Travels
    Gulliver's Travels
    Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

    fame, and where his family waited for him.
  • Rotherhithe is alluded to in the British Sea Power
    British Sea Power
    British Sea Power are an indie rock band based in Brighton, England, although three of the band members originally come from Kendal in Cumbria. Critics have likened their sound to a variety of groups, from The Cure and Joy Division to the Pixies and Arcade Fire. The band are famed for their live...

     song Carrion
    Carrion/Apologies to Insect Life
    "Carrion"/"Apologies to Insect Life" was a double a-side release by British Sea Power. Both songs feature on their debut album, The Decline of British Sea Power, and this was the first single to be issued after its release. The single received rave reviews and was the band's first Top 40 hit...

    and the Elvis Costello
    Elvis Costello
    Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

     song New Amsterdam.
  • Adam Carter
    Adam Carter
    Adam Henry Carter is a fictional character from the BBC espionage television series Spooks, which follows the exploits of Section D, a counter-terrorism division of MI5. He is portrayed by British actor Rupert Penry-Jones...

     from Spooks
    Spooks
    Spooks is a British television drama series that originally aired on BBC One from 13 May 2002 – 23 October 2011, consisting of 10 series. The title is a popular colloquialism for spies, as the series follows the work of a group of MI5 officers based at the service's Thames House headquarters, in a...

    supposedly lives in Canada Wharf on Rotherhithe Street, and much of the series is filmed on locations around Rotherhithe and the Docklands.
  • In the ending chapter of Charles Dickens
    Charles Dickens
    Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

    's Oliver Twist
    Oliver Twist
    Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens, published by Richard Bentley in 1838. The story is about an orphan Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to...

     there is a lively depiction of a Rotherhithe slum district of the mid 19th century.
  • The famous Gujarati poem, 'Rajashahi Ghodi', talks about a bicycle, allegorically a royal steed as it passes by the narrow by-lanes of Rotherhithe every morning, describing landmarks and monuments like the Mayflower Pub, the Picture Library and Southwark Park, along its way.
  • A song from the musical Cats, Growltiger's Last Stand, mentions the cottagers of Rotherhithe.
  • "The man from Rotherhithe" is an unnamed, recurring character in the long poem In Parenthesis
    In Parenthesis
    In Parenthesis is an epic poem of World War I by David Jones first published in England in 1937. Although Jones had been known solely as an engraver and painter prior to its publication, the poem won the Hawthornden Prize and the admiration of writers such as W.B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot...

     by David Jones
    David Jones (poet)
    David Jones CH was both a painter and one of the first generation British modernist poets. As a painter he worked chiefly in watercolor, painting portraits and animal, landscape, legendary and religious subjects. He was also a wood-engraver and designer of inscriptions. As a writer he was...

    .
  • A period costumier, picture library and minor film producer Sands Films
    Sands Films
    Sands Films is a small British film production company, founded by producer Richard Goodwin and director Christine Edzard in the early 1970's, and based in Rotherhithe, London. The company is particularly noted for its production of costumes for period dramas...

     is located at Rotherhithe Street, close to the Mayflower pub.
  • Long-running ITV series London's Burning
    London's Burning
    London's Burning was a British television drama programme produced by London Weekend Television for the ITV network that focused on the lives of members of the London Fire Brigade, principally those of the Blue Watch at a fictional fire station called Blackwall.It was broadcast between 1986 and...

     was based at local fire station Dockhead for the first few series, with most scenes filmed in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. For example, leading character 'Vaseline' was filmed drowning in Greenland Dock, and another leading character, Bert, campaigned to save the local city farm, filmed at Surrey Docks Farm in Rotherhithe.
  • 2004-5 ITV drama series "The Brief" often filmed in Rotherhithe, with internal scenes filmed at the Mayflower pub and lead character Henry Farmer, played by Alan Davies, lived a few doors away.
  • 2007 film "The Riddle", starring Vinnie Jones
    Vinnie Jones
    Vincent Peter "Vinnie" Jones is an English film actor and retired Welsh footballer.Born in Hertfordshire, England, Jones represented and captained the Welsh national football team, having qualified via a Welsh grandparent. He also previously played for Chelsea and Leeds United. As a member of the...

     and Derek Jacobi
    Derek Jacobi
    Sir Derek George Jacobi, CBE is an English actor and film director.A "forceful, commanding stage presence", Jacobi has enjoyed a highly successful stage career, appearing in such stage productions as Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, and Oedipus the King. He received a Tony Award for his performance in...

    , was largely filmed on location in Rotherhithe. It features the interior and exterior of the genuine Blacksmiths Arms, Rotherhithe, although the rear of the pub in the film was a temporary set built adjacent to the Downtown nightclub, close to the Surrey Docks Farm.
  • In " The Adventure of The Dying Detective", Sherlock Holmes pretends to Dr. Watson that he has contracted a contagious disease in Rotherhithe, while working on a case.

Main sights

  • Brunel Engine House
    Brunel Engine House
    The Brunel Museum is a museum in the Brunel Engine House, Rotherhithe, London Borough of Southwark. The Engine House was designed by Sir Marc Isambard Brunel to be part of the infrastructure of the Thames Tunnel.-Brunel Engine House:...

  • Finnish Church
  • Canada Water
    Canada Water
    Canada Water is a freshwater lake and wildlife refuge in Rotherhithe in the Docklands in south-east London. Canada Water tube and bus station is named after the lake, and lies immediately to the north, while Surrey Quays Shopping Centre is also adjacent, sitting immediately to the south...

  • Southwark Park
    Southwark Park
    Southwark Park is located in Rotherhithe, in central South East London, and is managed by the London Borough of Southwark. It first opened in 1869 by the Metropolitan Board of Works as one of its first parks...

  • Greenland Dock
    Greenland Dock
    Greenland Dock is the oldest of London's riverside wet docks, located in Rotherhithe in the area of the city now known as Docklands. It used to be part of the Surrey Commercial Docks, most of which have by now been filled in...

  • Russia Dock Woodland
  • South Dock
  • Stave Hill
    Stave Hill
    Stave Hill is an artificial hill adjacent to the Stave Hill Ecological Park, it is part of Russia Dock Woodland, and is located in Rotherhithe, London...

     (including Ecological Park)
  • St. Mary's Church
    St. Mary's Church, Rotherhithe
    St Mary's Church, Rotherhithe is the local Church of England parish church in Rotherhithe, formerly in Surrey and now part of south east London. The parish is now within the diocese of Southwark and under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Fulham...

  • Thames Tunnel
  • Surrey Docks Farm
    Surrey Docks Farm
    Surrey Docks Farm is a working city farm in the heart of London . It occupies a site on the south bank of the River Thames in Rotherhithe.-Activities:...

  • Hilton Docklands Nelson Dock Pier
    Hilton Docklands Nelson Dock Pier
    Hilton Docklands Nelson Dock Pier is the official name of a pier on the south bank of the River Thames in Rotherhithe, London, UK.-Services:The pier is served by the Canary Wharf - Rotherhithe Ferry, operated by Thames Clipper, which crosses the Thames to the Canary Wharf business district.Boats...

  • Cuckold's Point
    Cuckold's Point
    Cuckold's Point is the name given to part of a sharp bend on the River Thames on the Rotherhithe peninsula, south-east London, opposite the West India Docks...


Transport

Rotherhithe is served by three stations. Near the river, in the north, Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe tube station
Rotherhithe railway station is a railway station on the southern bank of the river Thames at Rotherhithe, London, England. It is on London Overground's East London Line, between and , and is in Zone 2...

, formerly a London Underground station, has been re-built as a London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 station, and re-opened on 27 April 2010, together with Surrey Quays
Surrey Quays tube station
Surrey Quays railway station is a railway station in Rotherhithe near Southwark Park. It is in Zone 2, on the East London Line. The next station to the north is , and to the south it splits into branches to and...

 to the south. In between lies Canada Water
Canada Water tube station
Canada Water station is a London Underground and London Overground station in Rotherhithe, in south London, UK. It takes its name from Canada Water, a lake which was created from a former dock in the London Docklands....

 in central Rotherhithe. This is now an important transport interchange, as it connects the London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 (formerly East London line) and the Jubilee line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

 of the London Underground, as well as having a bus station. This station is at the centre of a major regeneration project, with rapid construction of new flats. Other nearby stations are Bermondsey
Bermondsey tube station
Bermondsey tube station is a London Underground station. It is situated in the eastern part of Bermondsey in the London Borough of Southwark, and so also serves the western part of Rotherhithe....

 (also on the Jubilee line), South Bermondsey railway station
South Bermondsey railway station
- External links :...

 to the south west, and London Bridge railway station to the west.
Walking and cycling
The riverbank is path of the Richmond to Thames Barrier
Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier is the world's second-largest movable flood barrier and is located downstream of central London. Its purpose is to prevent London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the sea...

 (28 miles – 45 km) section of the Thames Path
Thames Path
The Thames Path is a National Trail, opened in 1996, following the length of the River Thames from its source near Kemble in Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier at Charlton. It is about long....

 through London. Most of the riverbank is accessible, apart from sections where warehouses and estates have established rights to the riverside.
River boat service piers
  • Greenland Dock Pier serviced by Thames Clippers'
  • Hilton Docklands Pier
    Hilton Docklands Nelson Dock Pier
    Hilton Docklands Nelson Dock Pier is the official name of a pier on the south bank of the River Thames in Rotherhithe, London, UK.-Services:The pier is served by the Canary Wharf - Rotherhithe Ferry, operated by Thames Clipper, which crosses the Thames to the Canary Wharf business district.Boats...

     for Canary Wharf – Rotherhithe Ferry only

External links


Maps


History

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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