I’m in London, a week into a 3 week trip to see family and friends. I was out early one day in Southwark, and it was unusually quiet so I took some photos as I was walking along Borough High Street.
Southwark Cathedral is the oldest cathedral church building in London, and archaeological evidence shows there was also Roman pagan worship on this site.
The cathedral stands at the oldest crossing point of the tidal Thames, at what was the only entrance to the City of London across the river for many centuries. Southwark has a long association with hops and coaching inns. The inns derived their existence from the fact that Borough High Street and Old London Bridge was the only land route into the City from the south until 1750. All the road traffic from Kent, Surrey and Sussex came through Southwark and so huge hop warehouses were built here, to store the dried hops. Men known as hop factors, acted on behalf of the growers, and made their living by charging the growers commission for their services.
The ‘LeMay’ hop factors building and the huge Victorian building opposite this, the Hop Exchange, which was built for the hop trade but never used by it, are reminders of Southwark’s hop history.
The Shard can be seen from the high street.
There are some lovely little side streets too.
After a few days in London I went to stay with my sister in East Sussex, where rush hour is when the sheep in the field next door run up to the fence to be fed, and Mr Alf is always happy to share a garden seat to have a snooze.