Winchester Park and Palace

For the early history of Winchester Palace and Park -
see Medieval.

(In the 18th and 19th centuries, Winchester Park became known as Southwark Park which is not to be confused with the park by the same name in Bermondsey / Rotherhithe.)

This is a very fayre house, well repaired, and hath a large wharfe, and landing place, called the Bishoppe of Winchesters staires.

This is how John Stow described Winchester Palace in 1598 but in truth, by this time, the greatest days of the palace were over. The Bishop of Winchester, Stephen Gardiner, had played a prominent part during the Reformation and had managed to hold on to the Clink Liberty but when Edward VI came to the throne he was imprisoned in the Tower for five years and his lands confiscated due to doctrinal differences. When Mary succeeded her brother Edward VI, he was freed from the Tower and his lands restored but already tenements had been built on the land and existing buildings divided. In 1641, Winchester Palace was turned into a prison and in 1649 the

The Palace of Winchester was just west of the dock at St Mary Overie and the area of Winchester Park, often called Southwark Park, consisted of between 50 and 60 acres acres extending north to to Park Street and as far north to the Thames in the area around what is nowTate Modern, west to Christchurch or Paris Garden, East to St Saviours Dock and South to the boundary of the parish of St George the Martyr. The largest part of the estate comprised fields and pastures but soon the transformation of what had once been an almost idyllic rural estate into one of the most over-crowded and insanitary areas of 19th century London had begun. Streets such as Red Cross Street, Queen Street, Duke Street, Ewer Street and Castle Street were laid down and the palace was transformed into workshops, tenements and warehouses, at one time St Saviours parish housed the poor there. The City of London did not want any more building within the square mile but people continued to arrive in London from rural areas and needed to be housed.

Sources:

Matthew Concanen and Aaron Morgan, The History and Antiquities of the Parish of St Saviour's, Southwark (1795)
H E Malden, The Victoria History of Surrey, Vol IV (1912)
Joseph Nightingale, The History and Antiquities of the parochial Churchof St Saviour, Southwark (1818)
William Rendle, Old Southwark and its People (1878)
John Stow, A Survey of London (1598)
Edward Walford, Old and New London, Vol VI (1873)

LMA: Surveyor's Plan Book ... of the Winchester Estate CLC/420/MS07829/001
Southwark Bridge Company CLA/019/01/001
CERC: ECE/6/1/120; ECE/7/1/14130; ECE/7/1/14140; ECE/7/1/14141