South Bank

London Eye Jan 2006.jpg
South Bank is located in Greater London
South Bank is an entertainment and commercial district in central London, next to the River Thames opposite the City of Westminster. It forms a narrow, disproportionate strip of riverside land within the London Borough of Lambeth and the London Borough of Southwark where it joins Bankside. As with most central London districts, its edges evolve and are informally defined. However, its central area is bounded by Westminster Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge. Its name was adopted during the Festival of Britain over the local less attractive name of 'Lambeth Marsh'; it includes the County Hall complex, the Sea Life London Aquarium, the London Dungeon, Jubilee Gardens and the London Eye, the Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall and National Theatre, among its long list of attractions. Both the County Hall and the Shell Centre have major residential uses.

South Bank is 800 metres southeast of Charing Cross.

South Bank developed later than the 'North Bank' of the river due to its formerly often waterlogged condition in winter. Throughout its history, it has twice functioned as an entertainment district, interspersed by around a hundred years of wharfs, domestic industry and manufacturing being its dominant use. Restoration began in 1917 with the construction of County Hall at Lambeth replacing the Lion Brewery. Its Coade stone symbol was retained and placed on a pedestal at Westminster Bridge and is known as the South Bank Lion. The pedestrianised embankment is The Queen's Walk, which is part of the Albert Embankment built not only for public drainage but also to raise the whole tract of land to prevent flooding.

In 1951 the Festival of Britain redefined the area as a place for arts and entertainment. It now forms a significant tourist district in central London, stretching from Blackfriars Bridge in the east to Westminster Bridge in the west. A series of central London bridges connect the area to the northern bank of the Thames Golden Jubilee and Waterloo Bridge.

During the Middle Ages this area developed as a place of entertainment outside the formal regulation of the City of London on the north bank; this included theatres, prostitution and bear-baiting.

By the 18th century the more genteel entertainment of the pleasure gardens had developed. The shallow bank and mud flats were ideal locations for industry and docks and went on to develop as an industrial location in a patchwork of private ownership.

This page was last edited on 9 March 2018, at 19:10.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Bank under CC BY-SA license.

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