Gems of the South Bank, day one. 

Thankfully, this view is not what I’m writing about, with its jumble of old, recent and dubious…
We are spending a few days with the South London branch of the Tanham family, who are shortly to leave, with granddaughter Alice, for a new life, as, doctors, in Australia. We are staying in a budget hotel on the South Bank of the Thames, and it has been a delight to see how well and organically this ancient part of the city has been preserved and renovated. 

A case in point is the recently excavated Winchester Palace. 

These ruins are all that remain of the home of the very powerful Bishops of Winchester, among the most influential figures of medieval London. They lie one street behind the Thames, in a densely developed area which beautifully balances leisure, housing, dining and entertaining, using a human scale of construction that maximises the re-use of existing resources, such as redeveloped warehouses, leaving history and culture not only intact, but adjacent. 

Within five hundred metres you will find three pubs, eight restaurants, the ancient Bishops’ Palace of Winchester and Sir Francis Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind. 
On the north bank, in stark contrast, you will find offices and a roadway. The contrast couldn’t be more stark, and yet the City, proper, lies on the north bank, with its vast wealth and influence. 

There is no point railing against this, London has its own complex systems of government. What is useful is to hold us the rejuvenation of the South Bank as an example of how wonderful an inner city area can be when effort is made to keep things on a human scale…

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. They look to have got the balance pretty much spot on 🙂

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    1. stevetanham says:

      I’m amazed how lovely the development of the past ten years have left it – very folky, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TanGental says:

    hear hear Steve

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    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you, Geoffles.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Smith says:

    All I saw of London was the stretch between Euston, Kings Cross and the Driver so thanks for sharing something special.
    It was great to meet you at the Bash.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      And you, Mary. London is very complex; and it’s difficult to say anything that cover it all.
      The South Bank is an example of a regeneration project of great complexity – and I’m glad they got it so right!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ruth says:

    It was lovely to meet you at the Bloggers Bash, Steve 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      And you, Ruth – a fine day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I very much appreciate your post from the South Bank, London, which I like a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      It’s a very special place that I’ve not visited for a long time. It’s been great being back!

      Like

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you, Granny Moon!

      Like

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