Walworth, London Heritage Action Zone

The Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) will promote the rediscovery, celebration and enjoyment of Walworth as a historic urban village, the heart of the community and a vibrant destination with a rich history, which has much to offer. The HAZ will help deliver growth whilst championing and enhancing Walworth's sense of place and historic character.

The HAZ focuses mostly on the Walworth Road in the London Borough of Southwark and will be a five-year project, beginning in 2018 and completing by 2023.

Welcome to Walworth

Walworth has been in existence as a manor and parish since Anglo-Saxon times. The Walworth Road tells the story of the development from a medieval hamlet to a dense inner-city neighbourhood through late 18th century gentrification to become an area of industry and dense working class housing in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Alongside surviving fragments of Georgian building are elements and traces of the notable pleasure gardens, productive orchards and flower nurseries which once surrounded Walworth's town centre and the Walworth Road. During the 18th and 19th centuries Walworth Road developed as the principal trading street, encompassing East Street Market, considered to be one of the oldest trading markets in London and has existed in various iterations since the 16th century.

Once an important civic centre, Walworth lies on a busy arterial road, which, with the demise of its railway station has seen an erosion of character and significance. The area also suffers from high levels of social deprivation, with vacant properties and deteriorating retail units.

Cyclist ridng past the Schwar & Co jewellers
Schwar & Co jewellery shop © Sophie Barnard for the Walworth Society

How the Heritage Action Zone will help

Walworth has great potential to reconnect to its heritage and use this to underpin a sense of identity and support the social, economic and environmental needs of the area.  The HAZ will unlock the significance of Walworth's heritage, restore vacant properties, deliver new housing and re-establish this intriguing urban village as a place where people want to live, work and explore.

The main aims of the HAZ are:

  • To use Walworth's heritage assets as a catalyst for economic growth, delivering the distinctive identity and social vitality of this London village
  • Ensure effective management of heritage assets, putting heritage at the heart of delivering sustainable growth
  • To galvanise a robust partnership and secure commitment from all stakeholders to champion the special character of the area
  • To raise understanding of the value and role of historic character as a key asset by developing innovative ways and opportunities for residents and businesses to engage with heritage. 
  • To strengthen community awareness and support activities and participation in programmes which underpin well-being, interest and further engagement within the area.
Corner shop on Walworth Road
New shop on Walworth Road

Walworth HAZ Partners

  • Historic England
  • London Borough of Southwark
  • Walworth Society
  • London South Bank University
  • Creation Trust
  • SLAEC (Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Excavation Committee))
  • Lendlease
  • Notting Hill Housing
  • Cuming Museum

Was this page helpful?

Also of interest...

  • View of london skyline

    London Highlights

    Historic England is raising awareness of London’s unique heritage. Find out how you can help 'Keep it London' and follow other local heritage stories.

  • St Paul's cathedral at night, viewed across the London Millenium Footbridge.

    Keep it London

    London is on the cusp of huge change. Don't let it become a generic global city. Join our campaign to protect London's unique character and identity.