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Bankside American Connections


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Start your tour at Southwark Cathedral. Inside you will find the Harvard Chapel dedicated to the memory of John Harvard, the benefactor of America's oldest university who was baptised in the cathedral in 1607 when it was still a parish church. Other American monuments in the cathedral honour Oscar Hammerstein and Sam Wanamaker, founder of nearby Shakespeare's Globe, a reconstruction of Shakespeare's theatre, open as an attraction all year round.

A little further west is an entirely seaworthy replica of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hinde in which he circumnavigated the globe and sailed from Cape Horn north along the entire West coast of the Americas.

Continue west down the riverwalk. The original Clink Prison housed religious dissenters such as cleric John Greenwood and Henry Barrowe, whose ideas inspired the Pilgrim Fathers who sailed to America in 1620. Relive the gruesome history of the prison at the Clink Prison Museum.

Finally, enjoy an atmospheric walk down the Thames Path to the Tate Modern, which affords the opportunity to see Mark Rothko's 1959 murals, 600 square feet of paintings for the most exclusive room in the new Four Seasons restaurant at the Seagram Building in New York, which the artist suddenly and unexpectedly withdrew. Other American artists are also well represented including Jasper Johns, Pollock and de Kooning.