Walworth not only has Roman, Saxon and Medieval history but the prehistoric remains of a mammoth were found under the Hillingdon Estate, one of the many hidden treasures that are just waiting to be uncovered along with Pasley Park and the Cuming Museum.
The Royal Surrey Gardens
The Royal Surrey Gardens once stood in Walworth and spanned a total distance of 15 acres and lay to the east of the Oval. The gardens not only contain walkways and open grassy spaces, but the Surrey Zoological Gardens and the Surrey Music Hall.
The gardens were part of the grounds of the manor house of Walworth and the zoo was even visited by Queen Victoria. The gardens played host to many events including re-enactments of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the Great Fire of London and the storming of Badajoz. The re-enactments were done using painted sets and even firework displays.
The Surrey Music Hall was sold off and eventually became the site of Christ Church in the Elephant and Castle. Though much of the grounds were sold off as its popularity as a venue for music and entertainments had dwindled, the park still exists and is now known locally as the much smaller Pasley Park.
The Cuming Museum displays art and historical objects that have been collected from around the world by the Cuming family and it is also the museum of the local history of Southwark. Items included in the museum’s collection include archaeological treasures, art, local history, social and natural history and ethnographical objects.
The museum was started by the money left by Henry Syer Cuming upon his death after he and his father, Richard Cuming, collected items around the world during the late 18th and 19th centuries. It was opened in 1906 above the Newington Public Library.
In 2006 the museum moved to a new venue on the ground floor of the former Walworth Town Hall and now has two permanent displays as well as regular events and exhibitions. For those interested in local history, this museum is an absolute beauty to behold and even more enjoyable to explore with an escort as company.