3 June 2008
By John Prendergast
SOME PRIME examples of Southwark history, now demolished or in states of ill repair, star in a new book about derelict sites in London.
Derelict London, by Paul Talling, details the author's tour around the capital documenting interesting buildings, as they are about to be pulled down or before they fall over.
Southwark has a number of notable entries in the book, ranging from Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey, which was once a thriving trading centre, to the Thomas A Beckett pub, which is alleged to be haunted, as well as being the training centre for some of the greatest local boxers.
More surprising entries include the Wooddene Estate in Peckham, which was famed as being an estate on stilts, and the London Park Hotel at the Elephant, which now has a stunning new park next to it in St Mary's Churchyard.
The most eye-opening entry, however, is the Crossbones Burial Ground in the Borough, which is said to be an unconsecrated graveyard for prostitutes; by the time it closed some 15,000 people, not all ladies of the night it has to be said, were believed to have been buried there.
The book, published by Random House, is an interesting tour of some of the more hidden gems of the borough, and is available now at a cost of £9.99.
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