Bankside (The), SOUTHWARK, comprehends that portion of ground on the river-bank between "Bank-end" by Barclay's brewery, and "Bank-end" by the Castle or Falcon, near Blackfriars Bridge. These appear in the Token-books of about 1600 respectively as the "hether end of the Bank" east and "Bancke-ende" west. Bankside was of old the chief seat of vice and dissipation in London, and contained the Stews, Bear Gardens, and Playhouses.
The playhouses and bear gardens were nearly all put down in the time of the Commonwealth, one or two surviving to the time of Charles II. or a little later, until the sports were removed to Hockley in the Hole.
Afterwards the Bankside was chiefly occupied by gardens, riverside public-houses, and breweries, by founders, glassmakers, and largely by dyers.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.