The Glastonbury

Mural Trail

Our Vision

Life Factory MOA crew Jon Sikoh DMK SYM

Uniting artists, businesses and local people through the collaborative process of mural-making. Creating art that transforms public spaces and individual lives.

Each year we receive thousands of visitors to our outdoor gallery, which has become part of the town’s visual landscape. Through public art we intend to inspire people, and create a sense of pride within the community.

We believe in the transformative power of creativity. We want to live in a town where art and creative practice are respected as critical to sense of self and place and where cultural vibrancy reflects and honours all human identities and experiences.

About The Trail

The idea of a mural trail first came from Jim and Caroline of the Pilgrim Information Centre who created a list of murals for visitors to visit. Then Gerard Tucker, the Town Clerk, approached local artist Kim Von Coels from thekrumbleempire.com, suggesting the Mural Trail as the Town’s ‘Outside Gallery’ for Somerset Art Weeks 2019, Kim agreed on condition that she’d have the Town Council’s blessing to commission new murals all around town.

Having researched the legalities of the project we found that although listed buildings could not be painted, murals were permitted on any wall, even within the conservation area, with the building owner’s consent. When commissioning artworks we are conscious of the need for the mural subject and style to be sympathetic to the location, to be un-political and to be family friendly.

By the spring of 2019 The Mural Trail had really brought the town together and several new artworks were created in Glastonbury that summer. Artists, who had applied from all over the world via the Mural Trail Facebook Page, were matched with individuals and businesses offering their walls to be painted. The artists donate their time and skill for the sake of being part of the project, while local individuals and businesses sponsor it and pay for the paint. The Chamber of Commerce are on board, encouraging local businesses to sponsor murals and the Town Council fully support the initiative. It’s another sign that Glastonbury is no longer the divided town of the past, with the whole community coming together to create a more colourful future.

With the help of Kirsten from Somerset Design Studio a Trail Leaflet has been created with a map showing all of the town’s artworks and on September 20th 2019 there was a Glastonbury Mural Trail launch event at the Town’s Skate Park for Somerset Art Weeks, it was officially opened by Pat Leyshon who had painted her shop with flowers fifty years before and her daughter Liz, a Mendip District Councillor. The event was attended by a very wide demographic, with many people coming to see artists painting at the skate park. There were picnics, lots of kids and a very positive response from the community.

Since then over twenty new murals have been painted around Glastonbury with more popping up all the time. The Mural Trail has drawn in and engaged visitors to the town. We have made our mark on the Instagram culture of Street Art, more usually known for its role in transforming areas of cities such as Stokes Croft in Bristol. Kim has been contacted by Shepton Mallet and other towns keen to have their own mural trails. And the Glastonbury Mural Trail continues to keep the town colourful.

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A Brief History

The tradition of painting the walls of the Town with large public artworks began in 1969, when Pat Leyshon decorated the front of her shop at the top of the High Street with colourful flowers. The borough council were outraged by this prominent artwork, but could not force its removal as it contained no wording.

Banksy - Chilkwell StreetIn 2007 Bristol street artist Banksy painted a policeman frisking a little girl on a wall in Chilkwell Street. The then owners of the wall painted over the mural, to the dismay of many in the town. The following year Bristol steet artist ‘Syd’ (although widely beleived to be a Banksy) painted the same wall, depicting Michael Eavis dressed as Jay Z, captioned “Jay Zeavis”. Again, the owners painted over it, but the controversy put the idea of street art into Glastonbury’s consciousness.

9 OUR WORLD

St Benedict’s School commissioned artist Jon Minshull to paint several murals on the school buildings including Our World Mural, painted in 2007. The project inspired kids and got them involved. Jon also painted the facade of the Goddess House in Benedict Street.

25 STIKIn 2010 world renowned street artist Stik did a piece on a wall in Hanover Square, visible from the High Street, the piece was vandalised, painted over by the council, then repainted by the artist. It remains as a popular feature in our town centre.

Other significant murals to appear were the flowers on Tor Cottage painted by Faye Suzannah in 2009,  the Scarab Beetle, painted in 2010 on Church Walk by Kim Von Coels, Sophie Alexi and Flo Lipin. Then the Sugar Skull, painted in 2014 on the corner of Northload St by Kim and Sophie who were also responsible for the flower mural (2015) on Manor House Road. The artists aimed to discourage ugly tags and replace them with beautiful artwork. The technique has so far proved very succesful with very few murals getting vandalised.

In 2015 local businessman Bill Knight commissioned the MOA collective to paint a mural on the end of his building in Northload Street, again in order to discourage graffiti. The resulting piece, colourful to the point of psychedelia, caused uproar in the local community. Bill hadn’t got planning permission for this change to a listed building in a Conservation Area and was told to paint over the mural. However the artwork was popular with many of the locals as well as visitors and a petition with over 3000 signatures saved it from obliteration. It has now become an attraction in its own right and is constantly photographed by visitors.

Other street artists decorating the town included SYM and DMK and others from the MOA crew and Luvm who painted the original mural on the side of the Globe Inn, while Faye Suzannah painted Tor Cottage on Well House Lane. Dan from MOA, who runs the Rogues Gallery shop in the High Street, painted a mural to brighten up the boarded up doors of the Crown Hotel in the town, while it was closed awaiting new owners. All these artworks formed the basis from which this mural trail has been created.

This introduction and short history was written by Vicki Steward, who writes about life in Glastonbury on her popular blog Normal For Glastonbury.

Kim von Coels would like to thank the following people for their help and support in creating the Mural Trail;

Kim works on her painting of a swallow at the mural trail launch at glastonbury skatepark

  • Gerard Tucker
  • Jill Barker
  • Dan @ Rogues Gallery
  • Kirsten Rae
  • Vicki Steward
  • Mary-Elizabeth O’Neill
  • Julian Clark
  • Anton & Nick
  • Matt Witt
  • Gabriel Avalon

Explore the mural trail online via our interactive map. Meet the artists involved in the project. Get involved as an artist or sponsor of the mural trail. Buy prints from the shop.

Explore the Trail

Interactive map

Shop

Purchase prints and postcards

Get Involved

Create or sponsor a mural

“This is a brief note to say that myself/partner/nine year old daughter spent 3 days in Glastonbury over new year, and a real highlight for us was the Mural Trail. To be honest we were totally blown away by the quality, the variety and indeed the volume, and also how it led us on foot into parts of town that otherwise we’d probably not have seen. Didn’t get to see numbers 1 and 2, will have to return…! That’s it! But thank you very much to all concerned.” – Patrick Kennedy

The Glastonbury Mural Trail

The Glastonbury Mural Trail

The Glastonbury Mural Trail

The Glastonbury Mural Trail

The Glastonbury Mural Trail