Walworth is located in London Borough of Southwark
Walworth is located in Greater London
Location within Greater London
OS grid referenceTQ325785
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtSE1 (Old Kent Road), SE17
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°29′23″N 0°05′26″W / 51.4898°N 0.0905°W / 51.4898; -0.0905

Walworth (/ˈwɔːlwərθ/ WAWL-wərth) is a district of south London, England, within the London Borough of Southwark. It adjoins Camberwell to the south and Elephant and Castle to the north, and is 1.9 miles (3.1 km) south-east of Charing Cross.

Major streets in Walworth include the Old Kent Road, New Kent Road and Walworth Road.


The name Walworth is probably derived from Old English Wealh "Briton" and the suffix -worth "homestead" or "enclosure" and, thus, "British farm".[1]

Walworth appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Waleorde. It was held by Bainiard from Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury. Its domesday assets were: 3½ hides; one church, four ploughs, 8 acres (32,000 m2) of meadow. It rendered £3.[2]

Old industrial buildings on Horsley Street, part of the Aylesbury Estate in the background.

John Smith House is on Walworth Road, and was renamed in memory of John Smith, who was leader of the Labour Party from 1992 up to his sudden death in 1994. A former headquarters of the Labour Party, it was often seen in news reports at election times and in the background as people came and went from meetings of the Labour Party National Executive Committee. It was used by the London Borough of Southwark as the home for its education department and reopened in July 2012 as a hostel.[3]

St Peter's Church, Walworth, built circa 1825, is an excellent example of the neo-classical style of church built by Sir John Soane. It is an indication of the wealth of the middle-class merchants who then lived in the vicinity that they could afford an architect of such prominence.[4]

Manor Place Baths is a former wash house in Manor Place off Walworth Road. It is a grade II listed building. The building was renovated by Kagyu Samye Dzong, Tibetan Buddhist Centre who obtained a five-year lease in 2005. They opened it as their London centre, called Manor Place Samye Dzong on 17 March 2007. Adjacent is the council's old recycling depot which is now closed and has been replaced by a new facility[5] at 43 Devon Street, off Old Kent Road.[6]

Walworth is also home to the Pullens buildings - a mixture of Victorian live/work spaces and yards. Many of the flats are one bedroom, and some of the flats still connect to the Workshops of any of the three yards (Illife Yard, Peacock Yard and one other).[7]

Walworth also used to have a zoo, in Royal Surrey Gardens, which was visited by Queen Victoria.[8]


Walworth Town Hall
A map showing the wards of Southwark Metropolitan Borough as they appeared in 1916.

Walworth Town Hall, previously the Vestry Hall of St Mary, Newington, became the headquarters of the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark and was renamed "Southwark Town Hall" in 1900.[9] It reverted to the name "Walworth Town Hall" when it ceased to be the local seat of government after the enlarged London Borough of Southwark was formed in 1965.[10]


Large amounts of regeneration and gentrification are occurring in Walworth, including the demolition of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, the newly built Strata tower, the demolition and regeneration of the Heygate and Aylesbury Estates, and redevelopment of St Mary's Churchyard as a new park. The Bakerloo Line Extension is planned to complete in 2028/29; two new stations are being built for it along Old Kent Road.[11]

Mentions in culture

The district of Walworth features in Charles DickensGreat Expectations; Mr Wemmick resides here in a small wooden cottage.[12]

Walworth is featured in the 2016 novel by Stella Duffy, London Lies Beneath, set in 1912.[13] It is also featured in the 2017 film The Foreigner, as the restaurant of the protagonist Ngoc Minh Quan is based in this district.[14]

Enda Walsh's 2006 play, The Walworth Farce, is set in a council flat near the Elephant & Castle. A theme of the play is Irish migration and immigration. Walworth had been a centre for Irish immigration since the nineteenth century.[15]

Notable residents

Transport and locale

Nearest places

Nearest underground stations

Nearest National Rail station


  1. ^ "WAlworth". Survey of English Place-Names. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  2. ^ Surrey Domesday Book Archived 30 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Safestay to open in Elephant & Castle, London, SE17 Safestay, 5 March 2012
  4. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Peter, Walworth (1385662)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Waste management facility - Southwark Council". Archived from the original on 25 June 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  6. ^ Kagyu Samye Dzong London at Manor Place Kagyu Samye Dzong London
  7. ^ Southwark Council Document detailing the Conservation status of the Pullens Estate Archived 3 September 2012 at the UK Government Web Archive
  8. ^ Whelan, John (2017). "The History of Walworth Garden". Walworth Garden. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  9. ^ "History". Walworth Town Hall. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Local Government Act 1963". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  11. ^ Bakerloo line extension - Have your say TFL, 15 February 2017
  12. ^ "Issue 9: Previously, in Great Expectations..." Discovering Dickens. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  13. ^ Review: Stella Duffy, What Lies Beneath, The Guardian, 20 October 2016
  14. ^ Busch, Anita; Fleming, Mike Jr. (5 June 2015). "Jackie Chan To Star in 'The Foreigner' for STX Entertainment". Deadline. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  15. ^ "British Library". www.bl.uk. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  16. ^ Swade, Doron. "Babbage, Charles". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/962. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  17. ^ "Person Details for Robert Browning, "England Births and Christenings, 1538–1975" – FamilySearch.org". FamilySearch.
  18. ^ "Charlie Chaplin - Walworth Road". London Remembers. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  19. ^ Shaw-Miller, Simon (5 July 2017). Samuel Palmer Revisited. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-55015-4.
  20. ^ "Frank E Stubbs VC - victoriacross". www.vconline.org.uk. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Charles Upfold (1834 - 1919)". ancestry.co.uk. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  22. ^ Davies, Charles Maurice (1874). Unorthodox London, Or, Phases of Religious Life in the Metropolis. Tinsley Bros.