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The Best Historical Buildings In Bermondsey

The Best Historical Buildings In Bermondsey

Picture of Shay Waterworth
Updated: 16 December 2016
The wealth of history and culture in and around the Borough of Southwark is largely tied to the fascinating buildings which glue different areas of London together. Here are four beautiful pieces of historical architecture well worth a visit when you next stumble into the area of Bermondsey.
Alaska Factory | Courtesy of Lamarr Golding
Alaska Factory | Courtesy of Lamarr Golding

The Alaska Factory

The Alaska Factory buildings are not necessarily the biggest or most expensive building in Bermondsey, but when you step outside the front gates and look up, you’ll feel the most unique, powerful presence fall from its arctic white walls. The Alaska Factory has an amazing history based on the seal skin business which lasted almost 100 years, and is now home to office space and apartments.

Guinness Trust Buildings | Courtesy of Lamarr Golding
Guinness Trust Buildings | Courtesy of Lamarr Golding

Guinness Trust Buildings

The powerful Victorian building near London Bridge station was built in 1897 to house the mass of industry workers moving to the area. The rich red brick work is striking and the series of arches at the front of the building forces you to stop and admire. The buildings are plastered in heavy industrial signs from the original construction. The best part about these buildings is you can still rent a flat in them and live the history every day.

Mary Magdalen Church | Courtesy of Lamarr Golding
Mary Magdalen Church | Courtesy of Lamarr Golding
Mary Magdalen Church | Courtesy of Lamarr Golding
Mary Magdalen Church | Courtesy of Lamarr Golding

Mary Magdalen Church

This Anglican church in the center of Bermondsey was first built over 700 years ago, making it an essential piece of London’s history worth seeing. The stunning stonework and angular architecture allow the church to stand out from the surrounding buildings and the churchyard behind the church is a great picnic hotspot. The beauty of the church radiates from its ancient buildings, which contrast in a unique way with the stunning modernism of The Shard and other staggering structures.

Jacob’s Island

Jacob’s Island was a famous slum area of London on the south bank of the Thames in the center of Bermondsey. It is a dockland area built around a small tidal point connected to the Thames and the rustic industrial buildings, which were immortalised by Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist. Moving on from the ‘repulsive lineament of poverty’ that Dickens described, the lovely clean buildings heavy with authentic styling remain strong nearly 200 years on and are a must-see for any hardcore literacy fans.