Elephant and Castle

New Walworth Library and Southwark Heritage Centre

Southwark Council is honouring its commitment to provide a new library and heritage centre on the Walworth Road. Cabinet agreed on the 22 January to secure units within the brand new Elephant Park development, on long-term lease from developer, Lendlease. Work to prepare the new library and heritage centre is underway and the council will work closely with the local community and schools, to make sure that it meets the needs of the community.

The frontage of the new library and heritage centre occupies a prominent position on the Walworth Road, adding to a streetscape of shops and restaurants, inviting both existing and new audiences to the area and helping to make sure that Walworth remains a desirable destination for all.

In addition to essential library services such as reading, community meeting space, children’s reading and rhyme time sessions, computer and internet services, to list a few, the new centre will include space for heritage and cultural displays, creating an opportunity to showcase some of the Cuming Collection and celebrate Southwark’s great heritage.

The new centre will host a rolling programme of heritage displays and educational activities for children and young people. We'll use innovative ways to engage new audiences in celebrating the heritage and culture of Southwark and use the centre as a launch pad to take our rich heritage across the borough.

We'll keep this page up to date with consultation opportunities and progress on the delivery of this exciting new community facility.

Be part of the opening exhibition!

Wignall and Moore have been commissioned to create the first exhibition to launch an exhibition programme that will become a regular feature in the new Heritage Centre. The new centre will have different approaches to sharing Southwark’s collections and the changing exhibition programme will focus on elements of the collection, peoples responses to specific objects or themes discovered in the collection and how they are relevant today.

You are invited to a series of free Myth-Making workshops.

'What would a modern mythology for Southwark look like? Tell us about the hidden tales from your neighbourhood or local legends. Explore the basics of Myth-making through these free workshops. Drop-in throughout the day to be inspired by the Cuming collection and contribute to a new exhibition.

Myth-Making PAINTING 

Location - 145-147 Walworth Road, SE17 1FZ
Dates - Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February 2020
Time - 11am to 4pm

This free workshop seeks to find and embrace modern mythology for Southwark through painting. Come and explore the items from the Cuming Collection and participate in a series of giant group paintings.

  • No painting experience required
  • Please dress for the cold and be aware of wet paint
  • Refreshments will be provided

Myth-Making POETRY

Location - Peckham Library, Pod 2, 122 Peckham Hill Street, London, SE15 5JR
Date - Saturday 15 February 2020
Time - 11am to 4pm

Location - All Saints Hall, Surrey Square, London, SE17 2JU
Date - Sunday 16 February 2020
Time - 11am to 4pm

This free workshop seeks to find and embrace modern mythology for Southwark through writing. Poets Eley Williams and Nicolas Tufnell will be on hand to help guide you through various poetic techniques and will show you how metre, structure and rhyme can be part of evoking a personal response to Southwark. Drop-in throughout the day to discover materials for writing your own poems and contribute to a new exhibition.


Consultation 3 Look and feel

Thank you for your input into our third consultation on the detailed design of the new library and heritage centre. Please see the detailed design information and read the  summary report.

Chalk and talk consultation

Please find the information and report for the concept design stage.

Bright ideas consultation

Thanks for sharing your bright ideas! The first phase of Southwark’s consultation was to understand what people loved about libraries and museums, what they'd like to have in the new Walworth Library and Southwark Heritage Centre and to hear people's individual Southwark stories.

It's obvious from the passionate and enthusiastic responses that libraries and museums are at the heart of our communities and they help our individual and societal growth and learning throughout our lives. It's important for everyone to feel welcome at libraries and musuems and for them to provide a wide range of information, learning, activities and events. They're great places to gather together and also to focus and enjoy on our own.

Please find the bright ideas consultation report.

This information will form part of the design briefs for the new centre and will help us deliver a successful new facility.

Page last updated: 30 January 2020