London’s most historic borough

  • Southwark’s status as ‘London’s most historic borough’ comes from the fact that the original borough of Southwark was founded by King Alfred in 880 and pre-dates the ‘City of London’.

  • The first Metropolitan Borough of Southwark came into being in 1900. It replaced four parish councils and combined these parish crests to form the coat of arms of the new Metropolitan Borough of Southwark.

  • When the Southwark Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1924 the Borough of Southwark gave them patronage and allowed the chamber to use the Borough Coat of Arms. Our Chairman’s chain of office, still bears that coat of arms today.

  • In 1966, The Heralds College made a Grant of Arms to Southwark creating the current Coat of Arms you see today, in all correspondence and in all publicity material from the Mayor of Southwark and the civic office.

The motto on the borough coat of arms is United to Serve, reflecting the commitment of the three boroughs of Bermondsey, Camberwell and Southwark to work together as one and the commitment of council staff and public representatives to do likewise.

The coat of arms can only be used by the Mayor, the Civic Office, The Southwark Civic Association and the Southwark Chamber of Commerce.

We are the only Business membership organisation to have been given permission to use the Southwark Coat of Arms.