The history of this corner of Borough is one of bishops, brothels, beer and beefsteaks. Hawksmoor Borough will sit within the grounds of a once great palace – complete with pleasure gardens, tennis court, bowling alley, brewery and butchery – owned by the Bishop of Winchester, Henry of Blois. Some said he picked this location because the numerous adjoining brothels, or ‘Southwark stews’ as they were known, made it a great spot for entertaining visiting bishops.
They also provided a nice source of income, with successive bishops earning rents from licensed stews. This led to the women working in them becoming known as ‘Winchester Geese’ and ‘bitten by a Winchester Goose’ becoming slang for the clap.
So much for the bishops and brothels. For stories of beer and beefsteaks (and perhaps the experience thereof) you’ll have to come and see us when we open in February.