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The Queenhithe Mosaic

August 3, 2018
by the gentle author

Queenhithe is a natural inlet of the Thames in the City of London, it means ‘Queen’s harbour’ and is named after Queen Matilda who granted a charter for the use of the dock at the beginning of the twelfth century. This is just one of two thousand years of historical events illustrated in a twenty metre mosaic installed upon the river wall at Queenhithe.

Commissioned by the City of London and paid for by 4C Hotel Group, who are constructing a new hotel on the waterfront, it was designed by Tessa Hunkin and executed by South Bank Mosaics under the supervision of Jo Thorpe – and I recommend you take a stroll down through the City to the river, and study the intricate and lively detail of this epic work for yourself.

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. August 3, 2018

    Lovely work.

  2. Jean permalink
    August 3, 2018

    What a marvel mosaic. I love the item showing people trying to quench the Fire of London. I must try to see this!
    Thank you Gentle Author

  3. August 3, 2018

    It’s a miracle of craftsmanship. At my favourite of all the hithes.

  4. August 3, 2018

    Southbank Mosaics who made the mosaic have moved to new premises in Camden where they continue to work on public commissions and train volunteers and professionals in mosaic and ceramic. Starting this October 1st they will deliver the first diploma/degree in Mosaic Studies from Ludham Basement, London NW5 4SF. If you want to be involvoed in the renaissance of mosaic art then call in at their studios and find out what’s happening. You can also call them on 02076206070 or email .

  5. August 3, 2018

    Absolutely enthralling and such amazing craftsmanship.
    Thank you Gentle Author for sharing another gem of a find for us to visit and admire.

  6. Richard Smith permalink
    August 3, 2018

    A good idea well executed.

  7. August 3, 2018

    Wonderful! At the risk of repeating myself, I trust that Bawden and his tribe are grinning/toasting/sharpening their pencils in joy. May I say that I think your nation’s artists have the ability to organize information that would wilt any other civilization, and put it all to music with typography to boot. (think of Adam Dant’s maps?) The various depictions within this mural are stylish, descriptive, sometimes-humorous, sometimes-sobering, beautifully balanced (the vertical slashes of the various bridges) and darn FUN to look at. Even though I am here in the Hudson Valley (still in my jammies) the clear photos made me feel that I was on-site, walking slowly past the mural, coffee container in hand juggling with my OWN camera, and giving out gasps of appreciative admiration. Perhaps another post could show the planning sketches and other preliminary work? Your readers are insatiable. And so grateful.

  8. Ros permalink
    August 3, 2018

    Now that’s what I call history. What a sweep – love those wind turbines and seal at the end!

  9. August 3, 2018

    Ive been quietly reading the blog for years. I rarely comment, preferring to quietly digest the history, folklore, marvels that you share. But today?


    Thank you. I am enchanted, and full of wonder and admiration for this artwork. I never would have seen it were it not for you.

  10. August 3, 2018

    Thank you for the wonderful column! They always bring joy to my day but this one on the mosaic was absolutely magical.

  11. Pedant permalink
    August 6, 2018

    eeekkkk!! I think they’ve made a blunder, depicting a Thames barge in full sail and captioning it a ‘Thames lighter’ – a quite different craft

  12. mlaiuppa permalink
    August 11, 2018

    That is lovely and another on my list of things to see in London should I ever visit.

    I love the use of natural local elements such as rocks, shells and broken crockery. The execution of the mosaic is brilliant. It is a lovely homage to Roman mosaics.

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