Southwark in central London is part of the London Borough of Southwark and forms one of the capital's ancient areas. Running alongside the River Thames to the north, Southwark was originally part of Surrey and was made up of a number of parishes. The name Southwark is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Sudweca, which means “southern defense work” in relation to its position at the southern end of London Bridge.
London's first theatres – The Globe, The Hope and The Rose – were built in Southwark in the sixteenth century and performed Shakespeare's plays. The Globe was closed by the Puritans in 1642 and was finally replaced by a modern replica called Shakespeare's Globe in 1997. After centuries of neglect, Southwark has been the focus of a regeneration programme in recent years. Factories have been replaced with office and residential development as well as shops, restaurants, bars and galleries.
Food lovers know to head straight to London's best known food market, Borough Market, which has existed since the thirteenth century. Ensuring high standards of quality, the Southwark Street based market is open to the public Mondays to Saturdays. Its position as one of the capital's most important landmarks has recently been marked by a blue plaque, highlighting Borough Market as London's oldest fruit and veg market.
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