Throughout history, Bankside has been on the other side of London’s mainstream. 16th century ‘Banksyde’ was outside the walls of the city, making it a natural landing place for outsiders and free thinkers. It became notorious as London’s rowdy pleasure quarter full of theatres, brothels and gambling dens. Today, rich in art, entertainment and culture, Bankside has a bold and independent spirit shaped by its past.
We want those who work, explore, live, visit and invest in Bankside to understand why it’s different and attractive.
If you have a role to play in communicating the story of Bankside, download our Bankside Storytellers guide here.
If you’re a HR manager inducting staff, a hotel concierge speaking to visitors, or you look after social media and want to highlight what’s special about where you work – email us for images and briefing information.
A Cultural Side
Bankside has changed how the world imagines
Bankside is one of London’s leading cultural quarters, evolving from a rich, diverse and authentic heritage. It is home to some of London’s most visited and renowned cultural institutions – Tate Modern, Shakespeare;s Globe, Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral – and hidden gems in the neighbourhood’s side streets are waiting to be explored. Bankside has been a place where people have come to experience culture for over 1000 years.
A Chaotic Side
Bankside has a bold and independent spirit shaped by its rebellious past
Bankside has always been a place of refuge and sanctuary for outsiders and free thinkers. Once London’s rowdy pleasure quarter, located outside the city walls and its jurisdictions, it was home to stews, gambling dens, taverns and theatres. It attracted outcasts, dissenters and misfits. The medieval network of streets encourages exploration and discovery and it has an ‘otherness’ that inspires creative thinking to this day.
A Connected Side
Bankside is an area of exchange, connecting places and people in a central neighbourhood
Five of London’s bridges lead to Bankside including London’s earliest and most recent. Railways viaducts connect major transport hubs – London Bridge, Blackfriars, Southwark and Borough. Bankside’s arteries make it a place of exchange of ideas, skills and talent. The railway viaducts form a spine running through Bankside into surrounding areas, and are the core of the Low Line project. It is a truly mixed neighbourhood of visitors, residents and businesses.
An Industrious Side
Bankside is a long-standing home of essential industry
Forming the Thames waterfront, Bankside housed the industries that oiled the wheels of global maritime trade routes launched from Bankside’s wharves and jetties. Ghost signs are a visible insight into Bankside’s commercial heritage and the architecture of the neighbourhood reveals layers of industrial history, from Victorian warehousing to The Hop Exchange, Bankside Power Station and mighty railway arches. Today, talent in Bankside powers the new economy – from digital tech makers, architects and designers, to Borough Market’s artisan producers.