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Newington

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Southwark

The correct name for the southern part of Southwark, which is generally called Elephant and Castle to avoid confusion with Stoke Newington. It seems likely that Newington (which means ‘new farmstead’) grew up after about 1200, when the establishment of nearby Lambeth Palace brought increased traffic along the Kent road. Until the second half of the eighteenth century it remained a sparsely populated farming village with a little industry, notably the manufacture of clay tobacco pipes. Thereafter, new roads brought development opportunities and landowner Henry Penton (who created Pentonville) began to sell off some of his farmland. The nineteenth century saw increasingly dense housebuilding, mainly speculative but some philanthropic. Trinity church was built in 1824 on land in the north of the parish that has belonged to the Corporation of Trinity House since 1661. The surrounding square was then laid out with smart terraced houses, many of which have since been converted laterally into flats across two or three house widths. With the magnificent exception of this estate, most of Newington was rebuilt during the course of the twentieth century by a succession of municipal authorities. In 1975 Trinity church became Henry Wood Hall, a rehearsal and recording venue for several orchestras – including the London Philharmonic. The population of Newington is multi-ethnic, with those of black African descent constituting the largest minority. Most residents rent from the council and do not own a car. Unemployment is high.

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Trinity Church Square played home to Mark Darcy in the film 'Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason'

Newington Gardens is a small recreation ground beside the Inner London Sessions House, a crown court. The park occupies the site of Horsemonger Lane Gaol, once the largest prison in Surrey, which stood here for nearly a century from 1791. That same year saw the birth in Newington Butts of blacksmith’s son Michael Faraday, who went on to become a pioneer in chemistry and electrophysics.

Postal district: SE1
Population: 12,870

Trinity Newington Residents' association website

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

 
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