Lambeth is a place in the London Borough of Lambeth, although the area is now more commonly known as Waterloo, after the railway station whose viaduct separates the former centre of the village from the River Thames. Lambeth is the site of St Thomas' Hospital, the London Eye, the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall, County Hall as well as Waterloo station.
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Lambeth appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Lanchei. It was held partly by Lambeth Church and partly by Count Robert of Mortain. Its domesday assets were: 2½ hides; 1 church, 10 ploughs, 22 acres (89,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 3 hogs, 19 burgesses in London paid £1 16s 0d. It rendered £15.
The ancient settlement of Lambeth Marsh was immediately opposite the Palace of Westminster. The Archbishop of Canterbury has had his official residence at Lambeth Palace since the 15th century. The village was home to boatmen serving the City of London and Westminster.
The riverside village had an extensive parish, which stretched for six miles (10 km) south, including the manors of Kennington and Vauxhall. It formed part of Surrey until the creation of the County of London in 1889. The parish, and the subsequent Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth (1900–1965), included the later settlements at Brixton and Norwood.
The parish church of St Mary Lambeth is next door to Lambeth Palace. It still has a medieval tower, but was mostly rebuilt in the Victorian era (to a design by Philip Charles Hardwick). It narrowly escaped demolition in the 1970s during which time it was used by the charity Crisis at Christmas to house and feed homeless people during Christmas week each year.
The church is now the Museum of Garden History. The churchyard contains the tomb of the famous plant collector John Tradescant the elder and his son of the same name.
With the rapid growth in population across the parish in the early 19th century, four "daughter" churches were constructed between 1822 and 1825, named after the four evangelists – St Mark's Kennington, St Matthew's Brixton, St Luke's West Norwood and St John's in Waterloo Road.
The nearest London Underground stations are Waterloo, Southwark and Lambeth North.
Notable individuals associated with Lambeth
- Rob Lord- composer of music for films, TV and computer games
- Edward Thomas memorial stone near Steep mentions that his birthplace was LambethScott Parker - professional footballer for West Ham United FC, born in Lambeth
- William Blake - religious visionary, poet and artist
- Carl McCoy - frontman for gothic rock band Fields of the Nephilim, born here in 1963
- Arthur Tooth - ritualist clergyman in the Church of England, curate of St. Mary's Lambeth in 1863
- Gordon Comstock - fictional Poet from George Orwell's book Keep the Aspidistra Flying
- Edward Thomas was born in Lambeth.
- F. B. Meyer pastored Christ Church in Lambeth 1892-1909 and 1915-1921
- Christopher Newman Hall founded the Christ Church complex in Lambeth of which only the Lincoln Memorial Tower survives today
- American William Chester Minor was a major contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary. It was while living at Lambeth that Minor murdered George Merrett, for which crime he was found criminally insane and confined for the rest of his life at Broadmoor.
- Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was born in Lambeth in 1945.
- John Doulton and Sir Henry Doulton founded their famous pottery company Royal Doulton in Lambeth.
- Sir Arthur Sullivan composer of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas was born in Lambeth in 1842.
- Charlie Chaplin, the famous film actor and comedian, was born in Lambeth in 1889.
- Elias Ashmole, the famous alchemist, died in Lambeth in 1692.
- Kevin Spacey, the famous American actor, is artistic director of the Old Vic and a resident of Lambeth.
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