The Metropolitan Borough of Southwark was a metropolitan borough in the County of London from 1900 to 1965. It was created to cover the section of the ancient borough of Southwark. In common with the rest of inner London, the experienced a steady decline in population throughout its existence. The borough council made an attempt to gain city status in 1955. The borough was formed from four civil parishes, St Mary Newington, Southwark Christchurch, Southwark St George the Martyr, in 1930 these four were combined into a single civil parish called Southwark, which was conterminous with the metropolitan borough. Previous to the formation it had been administered by three separate local bodies, St Saviours District Board of Works, Newington Vestry and Southwark St George the Martyr Vestry. The borough was one of two created in the Southwark area by the London Government Act 1899, the remaining, eastern, part of Southwark was combined with Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. The existing boundaries were found to be very unsatisfactory, accordingly they were realigned, for the most part following the centre of roads. Guys Hospital, which had been divided between three parishes, was taken into the borough. The legislation did not name the two boroughs, instead this responsibility was given to the commissioners who were appointed under the act to simplify the boundaries between the new municipalities. Representatives of the Collegiate Church of St Saviour supported the district board and it was pointed out that a new diocese was soon to be established with the collegiate church becoming the cathedral. This, it was reasoned, would make the new borough the City of Southwark, the name Walworth was also proposed as the area had Roman associations and also appeared in early written histories. The commissioners originally suggested that West Southwark might be acceptable, with the neighbouring borough bearing the name East Southwark, the vestry of St John Horsleydown proposed naming the boroughs as Southwark St Saviours and Southwark St Olaves, a suggestion supported by the London County Council. A decision was made on 25 January 1900, with the western borough becoming Southwark. In 1955 the borough council unsuccessfully petitioned for the grant of city status and it included the areas now known as, The Borough Bankside Elephant and Castle Newington Walworth The London Government Act 1963 abolished both the County of London and the metropolitan boroughs. In their place were created Greater London, which was divided into 32 London Boroughs, on 1 April 1965 the London Borough of Southwark was formed by the amalgamation of the three metropolitan boroughs of Southwark, Camberwell and Bermondsey. The Borough had an area of 1,131 acres, municipal Year Book of the United Kingdom for 1907
Metropolitan Borough of Southwark Town Hall (previously the Vestry Hall of St Mary, Newington)
The Arms of The Metropolitan Borough of Southwark
A map showing the wards of Southwark Metropolitan Borough as they appeared in 1916.