On The River Thames, Bermondsey, London, 1827
Artist: Scharf, George senior
The area of Bermondsey originally consisted of marshland. A Cluniac monastery and abbey were built here following the Norman Conquest in the 11th century. Henry II held court at the abbey in 1154, where he was able to formulate and discuss his ambitious schemes. These monastic buildings remained until 1541 when they were demolished following Henry VIII's disagreements with Rome. Bermondsey's association with the leather industry began in the 14th century, when tanneries were first known to exist in the area. Leather making was a noxious trade and was therefore unpopular with city dwellers. London's first passenger railway emerged in the borough nine years after this drawing was made, and ran from Spa Road to Deptford. Since 1965 Bermondsey has been placed within the London Borough of Southwark, and is best known for the new Tate Gallery of Modern Art and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.