Walks

Walks

Our walks can complement any of our talks for schools, colleges & universities, as well as for people with a general interest in the history of medicine, public health, and crime. Even though the following walks describe general objectives and curriculum links for schools, these walks can be customised to suit other ages and interests. 

Relevant prices apply.


King Cholera Walk: Public Health in Nineteenth Century Southwark

Suitability: KS4 & 5. 

Maximum number of students: 50. 

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes. 

Cost: £3.50 per person/combined with a talk £8.50 (£6.00/£12.00 per person if students are over 18). 

Available: Tuesday – Saturday (AM only)

Nineteenth century industrialisation transformed parts of Southwark into one of the most overcrowded and filthiest areas of London. Raw sewage was everywhere. And so was its stench. These wretched conditions in turn bred epidemic diseases, most notably the scourge of the period: cholera. In an age when the belief was that diseases were caused by miasma, this walk explores the lives of the local poor, the arrival, effects and responses to this potentially fatal bacterial infection and the significant figures in public health improvements.

Learning Objective

  • Understanding the impact early industrial Britain had on living conditions and disease and the limitations and improvements of the subsequent public health ‘fight against filth’ reforms.
  • Exploring ideas and beliefs about the origin and treatment of diseases in the 19th century and those centuries earlier. 
  • The role of individuals and medical developments in changing living standards and the understanding of the causes of disease.

Curriculum links 

This walk  focuses on why there were such huge changes in people’s health during the 19th century, specifically through the fight against cholera.

It will benefit KS4/5 students studying GCSE History, covering Edexcel: Medicine Through Time, AQA: Health and the People and OCR: The People’s Health.


An Earthly Hell: A Walk Through Southwark’s Criminal Past

Suitability: KS4 & 5.

Maximum number of students: 25.

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes.

Cost: £3.50 per person/combined with a talk £8.50 (£6.00/£12.00 per person if students are over 18). 

Available: Tuesday – Saturday (AM only).

Improper amenities and lax enforcement set Southwark’s reputation as a haunt of criminals and low-life for half a millennium. Prisons, prostitution, murder and debt; the unsavoury status of this old suburb south of the river Thames will be revealed.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the severe approach to crime and punishment and later attitudes towards certain offences and public execution.
  • Exploring how the growth of the city and stance of the law lead to an increase in the makers, numbers and types of crime. 
  • Examining prison conditions and the way they changed during the early industrial period.

Curriculum links 

This walk would be of interest for KS4/5 students studying the GCSE History, Edexcel Crime & Punishment unit and students of criminology.


 The Bitter Cry: Booth, Poverty and Housing Reform

Suitability: KS4 & 5. 

Maximum number of students: 25.

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes. 

Cost: £3.50 per person/combined with a talk £8.50 (£6.00/£12.00 per person if students are over 18).   

Available: Tuesday – Saturday (AM only).

In Southwark, demolition of housing, caused by the development of the railways, brought chronic overcrowding and homelessness to an area already enduring industrial urban ruin.

One street in 1875 had a population of 8,000 sharing just 194 houses.

Social reformer Charles Booth’s innovative poverty surveys ‘Life and Labour of People in London shocked wealthy Victorians, provoking individual efforts to improve dwellings for the poor.

This walk uses historical maps, documents and photographs to illustrate the conditions which penetrated a deep social conscience and explores the work and buildings of those committed to municipal improvement: Edward Guinness, Octavia Hill and Sydney Waterlow.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand that improvements in public health during the latter half of the 19th century had not reached everyone and the problems of dirt and disease were as bad as ever.
  • How the demolition of slums and the construction of new, improved housing for the poorest classes often increased the problems of overcrowding in certain areas.
  • Analysing the content, purpose and context of primary sources used to map and highlight the poverty of this period.

Curriculum links 

This walk covers areas applicable to those studying GCSE History AQA: Health and the People and OCR: The People’s Health.

Trip Advisor Certificate
Experts Choice 4