The logo of the Museum of London uses overlapping coloured layers depicting the map outline of the city at various points of its history

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Yup, it has to be Southwark, [here’s the history]( via wikipedia.

(And you’re also right, it’s extremely abstract, I don’t think any of the layers are accurate in shape or scale as compared to any other of the layers, let alone between of all them.)

My ELI5 of your [very helpful slide]( would be, to first think back to what a meaningful obstacle the Thames would have been in Roman times:

– [Here is the River Thames through England](
– London Bridge was built in Roman times roughly below the right leg of the middle ‘n’ in ‘London’ on that map
– the City of London sits exactly at the north end of this bridge
– If you were around in Roman times and you wanted to cross the Thames _anywhere to the east of London bridge_ (without a boat), well, you’d be waiting about 1900 years. (Til they built Tower Bridge.)
– Even to the east you’d be walking many miles or waiting centuries
– Inevitably, a small urban development occurs at the south end of the bridge. i.e. Southwark

That’s why it appears even on the first (Roman) layer, it’s separated because it’s the only bit across the river, and it’s the only bit except the actual City shown because it was the only notably built up place already inherently entwined with ‘London’ (though not part of it) – Westminster was still a distant twinkle in somebody’s eye.

Medieval London layer shows it growing, straightforward enough… although by this point the size of it shown (as judged from the final version) corresponds way beyond Southwark (looks like +Lambeth at least, maybe all the way down to Croydon!). And while there was a period (see wiki link) where Southwark was a ‘Ward Without’ of the City, it’s rather fanciful the way they leave it appearing as an exclave in the bottom row / final version, because in present day it’s not adminstratively special or distinct from the orange it’s swimming in.

Also, given this reading of the layers, you see that the City is, like, 100 times the size it should be. So, yeah, “not an actual map” indeed. Cool concept logo work though.

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