Until the early 19th century much of north Lambeth (now known as the South Bank) was mostly marsh. The settlement of Lambeth Marsh was built on a raised through road over the marsh lands, potentially dating back to Roman times. The land on which it stands was owned by the church of England, with Lambeth Palace nearby. Records and maps show that it was a separate village until the early 19th Century when the church sold off the land in small pockets, thereby leading to random development of individual houses rather than the grander redevelopments occurring north of the river. Lower Marsh and The Cut formed the commercial heart of the area from the early 19th century.
As of 2015[update], Lower Marsh street is a vibrant road, home of Lower Marsh Market and a variety of vintage shops, pubs, bookshops, art galleries, independent coffee spaces and a variety of restaurants featuring food from many ethnic origins. The market has 77 stalls.