Skip to main content

Gordon Cullen Tile Mural

At the bottom end of the Lower Precinct, just inside the doors, is a ceramic tile mural by Gordon Cullen. The mural was commissioned in 1957 by the City Planning & Redevelopment Committee on the recommendation of Arthur Ling, City Architect to the corporation, to illustrate the spirit in which the reconstruction of Coventry was being undertaken. It was made by Carter’s of Poole.  

Cullen tiles sculpture

Thomas Gordon Cullen (1914-1994) was an influential Architect and urban designer who was a key motivator in the 'Townscape movement'. He is best known for the book Townscape, first published in 1961. Cullen was born in Calverley, Pudsey, near Leeds. He studied architecture at the Royal Polytechnic Institution, the present day University of Westminste. He subsequently worked as a draughtsman in various architects' offices, including that of Berthold Lubetkin and Tecton, but he never qualified or practised as an architect, although in 1972 he was elected as Honorary Fellow of the RIBA.

This ceramic mural was done in 1958 and depicted the history of the City and its post-war regeneration. The images on the mural are very varied ranging from dinosaurs thought to watch, cycle and car manufacturing. The mural also has elevational views of buildings in Coventry, especially the new post war buildings such as the Belgade Theatre, Hotel Leofric and Broadgate House. The design also includes Sir Basil Spence's design for the old and new Cathedral and the churches St. John the divine for Willenhall, St. Oswald's in Tile Hill and St. Chad's in Wood End.

The Cullen tiles sculpture was not always in this location. It was restored and relocated from the top end of the Lower Precinct in 2002. 

Cullen tiles sculpture

The original location of the Cullen mural in the Lower Precinct

Return to Public Art Trail Page

Do you have more information about this art work that you would like to share with us? If so, please complete the box below: