Southwark Heritage Centre and Walworth Library Now Open

The Southwark Heritage Centre and Walworth Library in Elephant and Castle is now open, Lendlease is proud to announce.

Arts and culture
  • 29 April 2021

Located at 147 Walworth Road, SE17 1FZ, down the road from popular coffee shop Change Please and from JN Money, the centre will serve as somewhere to view wide-ranging heritage collections.

What's on?

Marking the launch is the current featured exhibition, “Myth Making”, which responds to The Cuming Collection; a series of artefacts ranging from fossils, clothing, art and animalia that form a disparate picture of how deities and their stories were portrayed and perpetuated in ancient cultures.

The artefacts, cultivated over decades by Richard Cuming (1777-1870) and described by him as comprising “Natural History, Archaeology and Ethnology with my coins and medals and… other curios,” encompass not just Ancient Greco-Roman mythology but also that of Ancient Egypt and 17th Century Japan. 

“All history is in some way Myth – protected in glass cabinets and recorded in archives, but also half preserved in whispers shared in the corner shop,” say Wignall & Moore of the architectural design studio of the same name.

They are partially behind the series of brand-new myths created for Southwark in direct response to the Cuming Collection. The writings, poems, paintings and sculptures on display alongside Cuming’s artefacts come first-hand from the local community, with whom Wignall & Moore worked closely to cultivate Southwark’s new, contemporary mythology. 

Myth Making

Library services

A full library offer, including book browsing, free wi-fi, bookable PC and study space is available.

Walworth library in Elephant and Castle boasts a 20,000-book-strong collection, furnished with corresponding artworks and artefacts that have been specially selected to match the subject areas of the library in which they sit.

While some service features and activities are not yet running and the centre is currently operating a reduced service due to restrictions brought about by the pandemic, this will mostly restrict visitor numbers allowed at any one time.


When can I visit?

The Southwark Heritage centre and Walworth Library is open from 10pm til 6pm on weekdays, 10am til pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. The Myth Making exhibition is on now, with plenty more to come over the course of the year. 


Visitors please note:

Given current COVID-19 restrictions, this is a soft opening with no official launch yet.

“We are aiming to have a small launch event in May and hope to have a wider community opening event in the summer to fully celebrate all that the centre offers,” told Jillian Houghton to Lendlease, Project Manager of the London Borough of Southwark’s Regeneration Division; a division of their Place and Wellbeing Department.

“This will be advertised in due course. We want to keep residents and library staff safe. We do hope you will be able to visit SHCWL soon, and that you enjoy your visit.”

For further information on Walworth Library in Elephant and Castle, including the range of services on offer, current opening hours, and Covid safety restrictions, click here