It will be necessary to precis on a fairly grand scale, even within this small geographical area, and to handle the century in chunks. Life exploded in all sorts of directions in the Nineteenth Century and it is impossible to cover it in one post. Much of this was built on work that took place in the 1700s, which was a period of invention and scientific innovation in Great Britain. The experiments and discoveries were built on and invested in, and the ideas produced by a few remarkable brains were built upon by many others, running with new knowledge and taking the world into a new era.
Trying to gain a snapshot of the place at any one time is truly difficult. Even when the Surrey Commercial Docks was at its height in the late 1800s and the 1900s and peopled by numerous long-term workers, there were many complaints that the place was almost impossible to navigate on the ground. Hindsight should make matters easier but doesn't seem to be doing the trick, somehow!
With so much work becoming available here, the residential area expanded, housing increasing numbers of families. Shortages of land meant that residential areas eventually became dense and often deteriorated into squalor.
So much of Rotherhithe has been demolished and replaced with new housing and associated shopping and other services that there are only a few places left to see in the flesh - the rest has to be pulled together from original documents and later research.
And I thought that the wild flowers were complicated :-) If anyone has any corrections to make please do feel free - but I promise that I am researching this period most carefully from good quality secondary resources with the aid of original maps, archive newspaper articles and prints.