Mosaic timeline of London’s history at Queenhithe wharf

Walking around the City of London on Boxing Day, we came across this mosaic timeline at Queenhithe Dock.

Unveiled last year, it is the work of Southbank Mosaics, and is the result of research into the activities and communities that were living and working near the dock from the first Roman invasions up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics in 2012, and the installation of the mosaic itself in 2014.

Map of Roman London on Queenhithe mosaic

London’s long history of invasion, trade, construction and destruction are depicted…

Volunteers worked with archaeologist Mike Webber, and local historian Jon Newman, collecting suitable objects  to be incorporated into the mosaic. (from 0:45)

Objects found on the shore of the Thames – bones,  oyster shells, pieces of pottery – are included in their relevant time period on the mosaic…

Images showing historic events, people and places…

More modern scenes include the Millennium ‘Wobbly’ Bridge from 2000,  Olympic rings from when London was host to the games and boats and spectators from the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

I’m not sure what the GWH initials signify in the speechbubble of the man in the red coat (Chelsea Pensioner?).

Detail of Queenhithe mosaic: Millennium bridge, Olympics and Diamond Jubileee

A clip from a documentary film made of the project by filmmaker Inigo Alcaniz:

The timeline continues into the future – with 2100 showing a boatload of shipping containers and a QR code (going to the Southbank Mosaics’ page about the project) incorporated into the tiles…

There is room enough on the right for the panels to continue even further, and with mosaics being a durable medium, the hope is for the timeline to be a lasting record of Queenhithe and the City of London’s history for many years.

Detail of Queenhithe mosaic: Shipping containers and QR code

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