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Rotherhithe

From Academic Kids

Rotherhithe
OS Grid Reference:Template:Gbmappingsmall
Administration
Borough:Southwark
County:Greater London
Region:Greater London
Nation:England
Other
Ceremonial County:Greater London
Traditional County:Surrey
Post Office and Telephone
Post town:LONDON
Postcode:SE16
Dialling Code:020

Rotherhithe is a peninsula on the south bank of the Thames in east London in the London Borough of Southwark, facing Wapping and the Isle of Dogs on the north bank. It has been a port since the 12th century or earlier, and a shipyard since Elizabethan times. It was the site from which the Mayflower set off on its journey to carry the Pilgrim Fathers to Virginia in 1620. The ship's captain, Christopher Jones, lived in Rotherhithe and was buried there in 1622.

Because much of Rotherhithe was covered by the now-defunct Surrey Commercial Docks, the district is often referred to as Surrey Docks or (since the late 1980s) Surrey Quays, though the latter name tends to be used more for the southern half of the peninsula. Its central part, a redeveloped area on the site of the former docks, is often called "Downtown". In the past Rotherhithe has also been known as the cognate Redriff. It is part of the SE16 postal district. Electorally, the western half is Rotherhithe ward and the eastern half Surrey Docks ward.

Redriff was the fictional birthplace of Jonathan Swift's character Lemuel Gulliver, of Gulliver's Travels fame, and where his family waited for him.

Rotherhithe is joined to the north bank of the Thames by three tunnels. The Thames Tunnel to Wapping was the first underwater tunnel in the world, built by the Brunels as a pedestrian tunnel. It is now occupied by the East London Line of the London Underground. The later Rotherhithe Tunnel (opened 1908) carries a two-lane road to Limehouse. The Jubilee Line extension (opened 1999) has a railway tunnel to Canary Wharf in the Isle of Dogs.

Although the docks were closed and largely filled in during the 1980s, and have now been replaced by modern housing and commercial facilities, Rotherhithe is still dominated by its former maritime heritage. The largest surviving dock on the south bank, Greenland Dock, is the focal point for the southern part of the district, while preserved wharves dominate the riverside at the north end of Rotherhithe. St Mary's Church dominates the old town centre, a short distance from the historic Brunel Engine House at the south end of the Thames Tunnel.

Local places of interest:

Nearest places:

Nearest London Underground stations:

Nearest mainline railway stations:

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