The walk this morning was a bit of a stroll really. I'll be upping the pace and intensity as I progress, but London was looking fine on a bright and breezy day, and photos had to be taken. A good excuse to try out a new wide-angle lens as well.
|Looking upstream from Tower Bridge to HMS Belfast and London Bridge|
|A modernist mountain range: The Shard towers above the foothills of City Hall and More London|
|Looking downstream from London Bridge|
Crossing back into Southwark I wandered home through the backstreets of SE1. Stallholders were setting up in Borough Market. To the west of Borough High Street and running parallel with it is a very old lane, Red Cross Way, which shows up on maps of the area dating back several hundred years. Near the north end of the road is the site of the Cross Bones Graveyard, a pauper's burial ground and especially a burial ground for the 'single women' of the parish - i.e. prostitutes. Currently owned by Transport for London, the site is well known locally and there's a lively campaign to have part of it turned into a memorial garden. You can sign a petition if you want. If you stumble upon Red Cross Way you can't miss the Cross Bones - it's well marked as the picture below shows.
|The site of the Cross Bones Graveyard in Southwark|
|Still belonging to TfL, not much more than waste ground at the moment.|
Notice how geese feature in the shrine. The Bishops of Winchester owned much of the land in Bankside. The remains of their residence, Winchester House, are on Clink Street close to the river, and a little road called Winchester Walk runs behind Borough Market. The bishops licensed the prostitutes to work on their patch. The prostitutes were known as the 'Winchester Geese'. This short film featuring local playwright and historian John Constable tells the story.
The Geese are long gone but the pigeons are still with us. This gang lives around St George the Martyr church on Borough High Street.