This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Southbank Centre

Revisit great historical episodes with the spirit of brave new world craft.


Southbank Centre's 'Patchwork of the Century' is a special quilt made for the Festival of Britain in 1951. It is now on permanent display in the Royal Festival Hall and is one of the largest and most unique objects in the collection.

The Patchwork of the Century was made by women's groups and consists of 100 individual patches all made using recycled material. Each patch represents a different event in British History ending with the Great Exhibition in 1951.

The piece highlights major events including both World Wars, Women's suffrage, and the founding of the NHS in 1948. The Patchwork of the Century offers a creative insight into British history and is an integral part of the Royal Festival Hall's heritage.

Patchwork of the Century
See the Patchwork of the Century and revisit pivotal moments of British history at the Royal Festival Hall © Southbank Centre


London History Day
12 - 3pm

For London History Day, Southbank Centre will be offering a special talk on Southbank Centre's rich history and its roots in 1950s London. There'll be a special tour of its Grade 1 listed building. There'll also be an opportunity to take part in a practical workshop where you can drop in to explore the creative craft of quilt making.


Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

See more London History Day events


Graphic silhouette of Big Ben represented in green red and blue. Text reads: London History Day
Was this page helpful?