Secret London: Bankside
Little Known Facts about Bankside
Approximately 100,000 people crossed the Millennium Bridge when it opened on 10th June 2000.
Shakespeare's Globe first opened its doors on Bankside in 1598.
The first play we know of that was performed at Shakespeare's famous playhouse, The Globe, was Julius Caesar in 1599. A Swiss tourist, Thomas Platter, recorded in his diary that on September the 21st "we witnessed an excellent performance of the tragedy of the first Emperor Julius Caesar".
In 1666, the diarist Samuel Pepys watched the Great Fire of London from a riverside tavern in Bankside.
Given the large number of inns and brothels in Bankside during its heyday, it was important to be able to distinguish one type of venue from another. In order to do so, inns had their signs hanging at right angles to the street, whereas brothels had their signs painted flat on each house front.