Coat of arms of Lambeth
Official logo of Lambeth
Spectemur agendo
(Let us be judged by our acts)
Lambeth shown within Greater London
Lambeth shown within Greater London
Coordinates: 51°27′37″N 0°07′17″W / 51.460218°N 0.121445°W / 51.460218; -0.121445
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQBrixton Hill, Lambeth Town Hall
 • TypeLondon borough council
 • BodyLambeth London Borough Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Labour)
 • MayorSarbaz Barznji
 • London AssemblyMarina Ahmad (Labour)
 • MPsFlorence Eshalomi (Labour Co-op)
Helen Hayes (Labour)
Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Labour)
 • Council LeaderCllr Claire Holland (Labour)
 • Total10.36 sq mi (26.82 km2)
 • Rank304th (of 314)
 • Total317,654
 • Rank38th (of 314)
 • Density31,000/sq mi (12,000/km2)
Time zoneUTC (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Area code020
ONS code00AY
GSS codeE09000022
PoliceMetropolitan Police

Lambeth (/ˈlæmbəθ/ (listen))[1] is a London borough in South London, England, which forms part of Inner London. Its name was recorded in 1062 as Lambehitha ("landing place for lambs") and in 1255 as Lambeth. The geographical centre of London is at Frazier Street near Lambeth North tube station,[2] though nearby Charing Cross on the other side of the Thames in the City of Westminster is traditionally considered the centre of London.[3]


For the borough's history from 1900 to 1965, see Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth.


Main article: Lambeth

Lambeth was part of the large ancient parish of Lambeth St Mary, the site of the archepiscopal Lambeth Palace, in the hundred of Brixton in the county of Surrey.[4] It was an elongated north–south parish with two miles (three kilometres) of River Thames frontage opposite the cities of London and Westminster. Lambeth became part of the Metropolitan Police District in 1829. It remained a parish for Poor Law purposes after the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, and was governed by a vestry after the introduction of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855.[4]

Borough origins

Until 1889, Surrey included the present-day London borough of Lambeth. When the government drew the boundaries for the present London boroughs, it initially suggested that the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark be merged into a new borough; the southern and eastern sections of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth (including Clapham, Streatham and Tooting) would form another. South Shields town clerk R.S. Young was commissioned to make final recommendations to the government on the shape of the future London boroughs, and he noted that the Wandsworth council opposed the partition of its borough. However, Wandsworth's suggestion to merge Lambeth with the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea was rejected by both councils involved. Young believed that residents of Clapham and Streatham would be more familiar with Brixton than with Wandsworth, and recommended a new borough formed from the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and six wards and portions of two others from the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth.[5]

Political events

In 1979, the administration of Edward ("Red Ted") Knight organised the borough's first public demonstration against the Thatcher government.[6][7] In 1985 Knight's Labour administration was subjected to rate-capping, with its budget restricted by the government. Knight and most of the Labour councillors protested by refusing to propose budgets. As a result of the protest, 32 councillors were ordered to repay interest lost by the council due to budgeting delays and were disqualified from office for five years.[6]

In 1991, Joan Twelves' administration failed to collect the poll tax and opposed the war in the Persian Gulf.[6][7] The following year, Twelves and 12 other councillors were suspended from the local Labour Party by regional officials for advocating non-payment of the poll tax and other ideas.[6][8] Twelves' deputy leader at this time was John Harrison.[9]

From 1978 to 2002 the council comprised 64 members, elected from 20 three-member and two two-member wards. Before this, the council had 60 members elected from 20 three-member wards. Just before the 2010 election, its political balance was 37 Labour members, 18 Liberal Democrats, seven Conservatives and one Green, giving Labour an eleven-member majority. In the 2010 Lambeth Council election, Labour gained seats and the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Greens lost seats. In 2014 the Liberal Democrats lost their seats, Conservatives were reduced to three and the Greens to one. Labour, gaining seats from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, had 59 seats.

In the 2016 European Union referendum, Lambeth had the highest share of Remain votes in the United Kingdom at 78.62%, second to overseas territory Gibraltar's 95.9%.[10]


Lambeth is a long, thin borough, about three miles (five kilometres) wide and seven miles (eleven kilometres) long. Brixton is its civic centre, and there are other town centres. The largest shopping areas are (in order of size) Streatham, Brixton, Vauxhall, Clapham and West Norwood.

In the northern part of the borough are the central London districts of the South Bank, Vauxhall and Lambeth; in the south are the suburbs of Gipsy Hill, Streatham, West Dulwich and West Norwood. In between are the developed and inner-city districts of Brixton, Brixton Hill, Streatham Hill, Clapham, Clapham Park, Herne Hill, Stockwell, Tulse Hill and Kennington, each at different stages of gentrification with suburban and urban elements. Vauxhall and South Lambeth are central districts in the process of redevelopment with high-density business and residential property. Streatham lies between suburban London and inner-city Brixton, with the suburban and developed areas of Streatham, Streatham Hill and Streatham Vale.

The London Borough of Southwark lies to the east of the Borough of Lambeth. To the west is the London Borough of Wandsworth; to the south-west is the London Borough of Merton; and to the south is the London Borough of Croydon.

Parks and green space

Main article: Lambeth parks and open spaces

Lambeth's open spaces include Brockwell Park and Lido, Streatham Common, half of Clapham Common, West Norwood Cemetery, Archbishop's Park, Norbury Park, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and Ruskin Larkhall and Kennington Parks.


Along and around the South Bank, a tourist area has developed around the former Greater London Council headquarters of County Hall and the Southbank Centre and National Theatre. Also on the river is the London Eye and Shell Centre. Nearby is St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace and the Florence Nightingale Museum. Nearby is Brixton, home of Lambeth Town Hall and the Brixton Murals.

Large Ferris wheel at twilight
London Eye
Long white building in winter, with trees in front
Sunlight Laundry

Landmark church buildings include:

Red brick church with tall spire
St John the Divine on Vassall Road

The Oval cricket ground in Kennington is the home of Surrey County Cricket.

The Basaveshwara statue at the Albert Embankment erected by the former Mayor of Lambeth Neeraj Patil was unveiled by the Prime Minister of India on 14 November 2015.[11]


Population pyramid of the Borough of Lambeth in 2021
Population census
1801 34,135—    
1811 49,511+45.0%
1821 68,458+38.3%
1831 102,524+49.8%
1841 131,131+27.9%
1851 158,559+20.9%
1861 204,252+28.8%
1871 249,945+22.4%
1881 295,637+18.3%
1891 332,619+12.5%
1901 357,316+7.4%
1911 383,848+7.4%
1921 388,779+1.3%
1931 393,782+1.3%
1941 355,970−9.6%
1951 321,795−9.6%
1961 315,184−2.1%
1971 308,740−2.0%
1981 244,153−20.9%
1991 256,406+5.0%
2001 266,170+3.8%
2011 303,086+13.9%


Ethnic makeup of Lambeth by single year ages in 2021
Ethnic Group Year
1966 estimations[13][14] 1981 estimations[15][16] 1991[17] 2001[18] 2011[19] 2021[20]
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
White: Total 93.3% 187,998 77% 170,755 69.7% 166,058 62.39% 173,025 57.09% 174,778 55%
White: British 131,939 49.57% 118,250 39.02% 119,395 37.6%
White: Irish 8,689 3.26% 7,456 2.46% 6,828 2.1%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller 195 0.06% 146 0.0%
White: Roma 1,537 0.5%
White: Other 25,430 9.55% 47,124 15.55% 46,872 14.8%
Asian or Asian British: Total 14,937 6.1% 15,526 5.83% 20,938 6.91% 23,051 7.3%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 5,208 2.1% 5,316 2.00% 4,983 1.64% 6,054 1.9%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 1,997 0.8% 2,634 0.99% 3,072 1.01% 3,868 1.2%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 1,658 0.7% 2,169 0.81% 2,221 0.73% 2,502 0.8%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 3,086 1.3% 3,362 1.26% 4,573 1.51% 4,986 1.6%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian 2,988 1.2% 2,045 0.77% 6,089 2.01% 5,641 1.8%
Black or Black British: Total 53,432 21.8% 68,554 25.76% 78,542 25.91% 76,145 24%
Black or Black British: African 16,021 6.5% 30,836 11.59% 35,187 11.61% 37,359 11.8%
Black or Black British: Caribbean 30,789 12.6% 32,139 12.07% 28,886 9.53% 28,991 9.1%
Black or Black British: Other Black 6,622 2.7% 5,579 2.10% 14,469 4.77% 9,795 3.1%
Mixed or British Mixed: Total 12,854 4.83% 23,160 7.64% 25,630 8%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean 5,322 2.00% 8,302 2.74% 8,348 2.6%
Mixed: White and Black African 2,159 0.81% 4,301 1.42% 4,006 1.3%
Mixed: White and Asian 2,100 0.79% 3,574 1.18% 4,541 1.4%
Mixed: Other Mixed 3,273 1.23% 6,983 2.30% 8,735 2.7%
Other: Total 5,710 2.3% 3,177 1.19% 7,421 2.45% 18,046 5.6%
Other: Arab 1,728 0.57% 2,649 0.8%
Other: Any other ethnic group 5,710 2.3% 3,177 1.19% 5,693 1.88% 15,397 4.8%
Ethnic minority: Total 6.7% 56,155 23% 74,079 30.2% 100,111 37.61% 130,061 42.91% 142,872 45%
Total 100% 244,153 100% 244,834 100% 266,169 100.00% 303,086 100.00% 317,650 100%


Main languages spoken by all Lambeth pupils (%)[21]
Language 1992 2014
English 76.0% 49.6%
Portuguese 1.5% 7.6%
Spanish 0.9% 5.1%
Somali 0.1% 4.5%
French 1.0% 3.7%
Yoruba 3.2% 3.4%
Akan/TwiFante 1.5% 2.7%
Polish 0.1% 2.6%
Arabic 1.2% 2.5%
Bengali 1.9% 1.6%


Religion 2011[22] 2021[23]
Number % Number %
Christian 160,944 53.1 138,714 43.7
Buddhist 2,963 1.0 2,437 0.8
Hindu 3,119 1.0 3,179 1.0
Jewish 1,134 0.4 1,344 0.4
Muslim 21,500 7.1 25,871 8.1
Sikh 440 0.1 527 0.2
Other religion 1,682 0.6 2,351 0.7
No religion 84,803 28.0 119,123 37.5
Religion not stated 26,501 8.7% 24,110 7.6
Total 303,086 100.00 317,600 100.0


Lambeth is the local authority with the highest relative gay or lesbian population in the UK, at 5.5%, with the borough containing the gay village of Vauxhall and the area around Clapham Common.[24]


Civic affairs

Borough Council

A map showing the wards of Lambeth between 2002 and 2022
Lambeth Town Hall, completed in 1908

Since 2002, Lambeth Borough Council has had 63 members elected in 21 three-member wards by means of a plurality bloc voting system. The wards are Bishop's, Brixton Hill, Clapham Common, Clapham Town, Coldharbour, Ferndale, Gipsy Hill, Herne Hill, Knight's Hill, Larkhall, Oval, Prince's, St Leonard's, Stockwell, Streatham Hill, Streatham South, Streatham Wells, Thornton, Thurlow Park, Tulse Hill and Vassall.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England reviewed Lambeth's electoral arrangements. The commission's recommendations have now passed into law and take effect on Thursday 5 May 2022, when council elections take place across the borough. Most wards will have a new name, 12 wards will be represented by 2 councillors, 13 wards will be represented by 3 councillors and Lambeth's total number of councillors stays the same at 63.[25]

Civic council affairs

The council is run by a leader and cabinet, chaired by council leader Claire Holland. All cabinet members are from the ruling Labour Party who hold 55 of the 63 seats on Lambeth Council.

The Leader of the official Opposition is Donna Harris of the Liberal Democrats.

From 1994 to 2014, the Mayor of Lambeth was elected unanimously by their fellow councillors, with each of the three political parties supplying a candidate in rotation. According to the borough's website, this underscored the mayor's apolitical role and enables him or her to represent all the borough's citizens. Since 2014, the predominance of the Labour Party has meant that all subsequent Mayors have been members of the Labour group.

Coat of arms

The borough's coat of arms is that of the former Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth, with two gold stars (mullets) in the second and third quarters of the shield indicating the addition of the districts of Clapham and Streatham. Its motto is "Spectemur agendo" ("Let us be judged according to our conduct").

Westminster Parliament

The borough has three Parliamentary constituencies: Dulwich and West Norwood (shared with Southwark), Streatham, and Vauxhall.


The former Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and its successor have been twinned with the Vincennes district of Paris in France since 1955. Lambeth is also twinned with Bluefields, Nicaragua; Brooklyn, New York; and Spanish Town, Jamaica.


The borough covers London Waterloo railway station, the Waterloo tube station network and (until 2007) the London terminus for Eurostar. National Rail service in Lambeth is provided by South Western Railway, Southeastern, Southern, Thameslink and London Overground.

Bridges and tunnels

Aerial view of large railway station
Waterloo station from the London Eye
Round air-raid shelter, with a colourful mural
Stockwell war memorial and shelter

Railway stations

London Overground stations

Tube stations


In March 2011, the primary forms of transport borough residents used to travel to work were the London Underground, metro, light rail or tram (21.4 percent of residents aged 16–74); bus, minibus or coach (10 percent); train (10 percent); automobile (8.6 percent); bicycle (5.7 percent), or walking (5.4 percent). A small percentage (3.2 percent) worked mainly at—or from—home.[26]

See also


  1. ^ "Lambeth". Collins Dictionary.
  2. ^ "Where is the Centre of London? An Update | Londonist". Archived from the original on 30 May 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  3. ^ BBC. "Where Is The Centre Of London?".
  4. ^ a b Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Vol. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  5. ^ "London Government: The London Boroughs", Ministry of Housing and Local Government, HMSO, 1962. See in particular paragraphs 51–57.
  6. ^ a b c d "The rise and fall of Red Ted's loony lefties". 29 July 1995.
  7. ^ a b Kate Hoey MP and Lambeth Labour Party – Brian Deer investigates. (8 August 1993). Retrieved on 17 July 2013.
  8. ^ Bennett, Will (29 July 1995). "The rise and fall of Red Ted's loony lefties". The Independent.
  9. ^ GLATUC News. Retrieved on 17 July 2013.
  10. ^ "EU referendum: full results and analysis". The Guardian. 24 June 2016.
  11. ^ "PM unveils Basaveshwara Statue, inaugurates Dr Ambedkar Memorial in London". PMindia. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Lambeth: Total Population". A Vision of Britain Through Time. Great Britain Historical GIS Project. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  13. ^ Frasure, Robert C. (1971). "Constituency Racial Composition and the Attitudes of British M. P.'s". Comparative Politics. 3 (2): 201–210. doi:10.2307/421299. ISSN 0010-4159.
  14. ^ KRAMER, DANIEL C. (1969). "WHITE VERSUS COLORED IN BRITAIN: AN EXPLOSIVE CONFRONTATION?". Social Research. 36 (4): 585–605. ISSN 0037-783X.
  15. ^ Peach, Ceri (1 July 1986). "A geographical perspective on the 1981 urban riots in England". Ethnic and Racial Studies. 9 (3): 396–411. doi:10.1080/01419870.1986.9993541. ISSN 0141-9870. The scale of the area for which one makes the definition will clearly affect the percentage. For example, in Great Britain the coloured ethnic population may form 4 per cent of the population; in England 4.6 per cent; in Greater London 14.3 per cent; in Lambeth 23.0 per cent; in Ferndale ward 43.3 percent and in certain streets, 100 per cent. In making statistical analyses of riots there is a major problem of the appropriate a real scale
  16. ^ "Ethnic minorities in Britain: statistical information on the pattern of settlement". Commission for Racial Equality: Table 2.2. 1985.
  17. ^ "1991 census – theme tables". NOMIS. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  18. ^ "KS006 - Ethnic group". NOMIS. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  20. ^ "Ethnic group - Office for National Statistics". Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  21. ^ Association, Local Government. "Lambeth State of the Borough 2016". Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  22. ^ "2011 census - theme tables". Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  23. ^ "Religion - 2021 census". Office of National Statistics. 29 November 2022. Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  24. ^ Ross, Alice (19 April 2017). "Out in the country – rural hotspots found as gay population mapped". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  25. ^ "New electoral wards | Lambeth Council". Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  26. ^ "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Percentages are of all residents aged 16–74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey's longest part by distance.