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London Borough of Lambeth

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Sovereign state
United Kingdom


London borough

26.82 km²

Area code

Streatham Redskins

Constituent country

Ceremonial county
Greater London

Admin HQ

Administrative center

Dialling code

London Borough of Lambeth wwwmzaplanningcomwpcontentuploads2012071a

Colleges and Universities
Lambeth College, Morley College, City and Guilds of London A

Points of interest
London Eye, Florence Nightingale Museum, Lambeth Palace, Brixton, County Hall - London

Lambeth (/ˈlæmbəθ/) is a London borough in south London, England, which forms part of Inner London. Its name was recorded in 1062 as Lambehitha ("landing place for lambs") and in 1255 as Lambeth. The geographical centre of London is at Frazier Street near Lambeth North tube station, though nearby Charing Cross on the other side of the Thames in the City of Westminster is traditionally considered the centre of London.


Map of London Borough of Lambeth, UK


Lambeth was part of the large, ancient parish of Lambeth St Mary, the site of the archepiscopal Lambeth Palace, in the hundred of Brixton in the county of Surrey. It was an elongated north-south parish with 2 miles (3.2 km) of River Thames frontage opposite the cities of London and Westminster. Lambeth became part of the Metropolitan Police District in 1829. It remained a parish for Poor Law purposes after the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, and was governed by a vestry after the introduction of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855.

Borough origins

Until 1889, Surrey included the present-day London borough of Lambeth. When it drew the boundaries for the London boroughs, the government initially suggested that the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark be merged into a new borough; the southern and eastern sections of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth (including Clapham, Streatham and Tooting) would form another. South Shields town clerk R.S. Young was commissioned to make final recommendations to the government on the shape of the future London boroughs, and he noted that the Wandsworth council opposed the partition of their borough. However, Wandsworth's suggestion to merge Lambeth with the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea was rejected by both councils involved. Young believed that residents of Clapham and Streatham would be more familiar with Brixton than with Wandsworth, and recommended a new borough formed from the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and six wards and portions of two others from the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth.

Political events

In 1979, the administration of Edward ("Red Ted") Knight organised the borough's first public demonstration against the Thatcher government. In 1985 Knight's Labour administration was subjected to rate-capping, with its budget restricted by the government. Knight and most of the Labour councillors protested by refusing to propose budgets. As a result of the protest, 32 councillors were ordered to repay interest lost by the council due to budgeting delays and were disqualified from office.

In 1991, Joan Twelves' administration failed to collect the poll tax and opposed the war in the Persian Gulf. The following year, Twelves and 12 other councillors were suspended from the local Labour Party by regional officials for advocating non-payment of the poll tax and other radical ideas. Twelves' equally-militant deputy leader at this time was John Harrison.

From 1978 to 2002 the council comprised 64 members, elected from 20 three-member and two two-member wards. Before this, the council had 60 members elected from 20 three-member wards. Just before the 2010 election, its political balance was 37 Labour members, 18 Liberal Democrats, seven Conservatives and one Green, giving Labour an eleven-member majority. In the 2010 Lambeth Council election, Labour gained seats and the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Greens lost seats. In 2014 the Liberal Democrats lost their seats, Conservatives were reduced to three and the Greens to one. Labour, gaining seats from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, had 59 seats.

In the 2016 European Union referendum, Lambeth at 78.62% had the highest share of Remain vote in the United Kingdom, second to Gibraltar's 95.9%.


Lambeth is a long, thin borough, about 3 miles (4.8 km) wide and 7 miles (11 km) long. Brixton is its civic centre, and there are other town centres. The largest shopping areas are (in order of size) Streatham, Brixton, Vauxhall, Clapham and West Norwood.

In the northern part of the borough are the central London districts of the South Bank, Vauxhall and Lambeth; in the south are the suburbs of Gipsy Hill, Streatham, West Dulwich and West Norwood. In between are the developed and inner-city districts of Brixton, Brixton Hill, Streatham Hill, Clapham, Clapham Park, Herne Hill, Stockwell, Tulse Hill and Kennington, which are each at different stages of gentrification and have suburban and urban elements. Vauxhall and South Lambeth are central districts in the process of redevelopment with high-density business and residential property. Streatham is between suburban London and inner-city Brixton, with the suburban and developed areas of Streatham, Streatham Hill and Streatham Vale.

Parks and green space

Despite the borough's population density, Lambeth has open spaces. They include Brockwell Park and Lido, Streatham Common, half of Clapham Common, West Norwood Cemetery, Archbishop's Park, Norbury Park, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and Ruskin and Larkhall Park and Kennington Parks.


Along and around the South Bank, a tourist area has developed around the former Greater London Council headquarters of County Hall and the Southbank Centre and National Theatre. Also on the river is the London Eye and Shell Centre. Nearby is St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace and the Florence Nightingale Museum.

A landmark in the centre of the borough is the Art Deco Sunlight Laundry on Acre Lane. Nearby is Brixton, home of Lambeth Town Hall and the Brixton Murals.

Landmark church buildings include:

  • St Mary Lambeth (now the Garden Museum)
  • The four "Waterloo Churches" in the former Lambeth Parish:
  • St Matthew, Brixton
  • St Mark, Kennington
  • St Luke, West Norwood
  • St John, Waterloo
  • St Oswald's Parish Church, Norbury
  • Holy Trinity, Clapham
  • St Leonard, Streatham
  • Christ Church, Streatham Hill
  • Christ Church, Brixton Road, North Brixton
  • All Saints' Church, West Dulwich
  • Holy Trinity, Trinity Rise, Tulse Hill
  • St John the Divine, Vassall Road
  • The Oval cricket ground in Kennington is the home of Surrey County Cricket.


  • South London Theatre, a community theatre in West Norwood
  • National Theatre
  • Southbank Centre
  • Old Vic Theatre
  • Young Vic Theatre
  • Ballet Rambert
  • British Film Institute
  • Black Cultural Archives
  • Beconsfield
  • Gasworks
  • Newport Street gallery
  • Oval House
  • Borough Council

    Since 2002, Lambeth Borough Council has had 63 members elected in 21 three-member wards by means of a plurality bloc voting system. The wards are Bishop's, Brixton Hill, Clapham Common, Clapham Town, Coldharbour, Ferndale, Gipsy Hill, Herne Hill, Knight's Hill, Larkhall, Oval, Prince's, St Leonard's, Stockwell, Streatham Hill, Streatham South, Streatham Wells, Thornton, Thurlow Park, Tulse Hill and Vassall.


    Since 1994 the mayor of Lambeth has been elected unanimously by their fellow councillors, with each of the three political parties supplying a candidate in rotation. According to the borough's website, this underscores the mayor's apolitical role and enables them to represent all the borough's citizens.

    The council is run by a leader and cabinet, chaired by council leader Lib Peck. All cabinet members are from the ruling Labour Party. The leader of the opposition is Alex Davies (Liberal Democrat), and the leader of the Conservative opposition is John Whelan. The chief executive is Derrick Anderson, former chief executive of the Wolverhampton Council.

    Mark Bennett became mayor in March 2013, and died in February 2014. The current mayor is Donatus Anyanwu

    Coat of arms

    The borough's coat of arms is that of the former Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth, with two gold stars (mullets) in the second and third quarters of the shield indicating the addition of the districts of Clapham and Streatham. Its motto is "Spectemur agendo" ("Let us be judged according to our conduct").

    Westminster Parliament

    The borough has three Parliamentary constituencies: Dulwich and West Norwood (shared with Southwark), Streatham and Vauxhall.


    The former Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and its successor have been twinned with the Vincennes district of Paris in France since 1955. Lambeth is also twinned with Bluefields, Nicaragua; Brooklyn, New York; Shinjuku, Japan and Spanish Town, Jamaica.


    The borough contains the London Waterloo railway station, the Waterloo tube station network and (until 2007) the London terminus for Eurostar. National Rail service in Lambeth is provided by South West Trains, Southeastern, Southern, Govia Thameslink Railway and London Overground.

    Bridges and tunnels

  • Waterloo Bridge, incorporating the NFT
  • Hungerford Bridge and its two pedestrian spans, the Golden Jubilee Bridges
  • Lambeth Bridge
  • Westminster Bridge
  • Vauxhall Bridge
  • Railway stations

  • Brixton
  • Gipsy Hill
  • Herne Hill
  • Loughborough Junction
  • Norbury
  • Streatham
  • Streatham Common
  • Streatham Hill
  • Tulse Hill
  • Vauxhall
  • Waterloo
  • Waterloo East
  • West Norwood
  • London Overground stations

  • Clapham High Street
  • Wandsworth Road
  • Tube stations

  • Brixton
  • Clapham Common
  • Clapham North
  • Lambeth North
  • Oval
  • Stockwell
  • Vauxhall
  • Waterloo
  • Commuting

    In March 2011, the primary forms of transport borough residents used to travel to work were the London Underground, metro, light rail or tram (21.4 percent of residents aged 16–74); bus, minibus or coach (10 percent); train (10 percent); automobile (8.6 percent); bicycle (5.7 percent), or walking (5.4 percent). A small percentage (3.2 percent) worked mainly at—or from—home.


    London Borough of Lambeth Wikipedia

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