Sutton twins towns mural
ArtistRob Turner and Gary Drostle
Year1993 (1993)
Coordinates51°21′37.5″N 0°11′29.6″W / 51.360417°N 0.191556°W / 51.360417; -0.191556Coordinates: 51°21′37.5″N 0°11′29.6″W / 51.360417°N 0.191556°W / 51.360417; -0.191556

The Sutton Twin towns mural is a large mural in the form of seven individual paintings situated in Sutton High Street in the town of Sutton in Greater London, England. It is one of six works of public art in Sutton town centre.

Design and location

The mural was created in 1993 by two Public artists Gary Drostle[1] and Rob Turner on the 25th anniversary of Sutton's twinning in 1968 with Wilmersdorf in Berlin.[2] Seven individual paintings make up the mural. It is positioned along the north flank of a Victorian commercial building at the southern end of the High Street near the train station at the junction with Sutton Court Road. The paintings are on plywood and inset within seven mock window frames. The paintings depict scenes of the London Borough of Sutton and its four European twin towns: Gagny, a suburb of Paris in France; Gladsaxe, a suburb of Copenhagen in Denmark; Minden in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany; and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in Berlin in Germany.[3] (There is also a "friendship link" with Tavernelle, which is 16 miles south of Florence in Italy.)[4]

The twin towns mural was commended by the Sutton and Cheam Society in 1994.[5] Drostle and Turner also produced the Sutton heritage mosaic.

Mural features

The painting of Gagny
Sutton twin towns mural
The painting of Minden

The five main paintings show a number of the main features of their respective areas, along with the heraldic shield of each above the other images. Each painting also features a plant as a visual representation of its subject's environmental awareness.[6] In the case of Sutton this is in a separate smaller painting (above its main one) showing a beech tree, intended as a symbol of prosperity and from which Carshalton Beeches in the borough derives its name.[3]

The artists involved pupils from Sutton schools and community groups in the early designs; each group dealt with a different town. Sutton's mural painting shows a range of its most well known landmarks, including Whitehall in Cheam, Carshalton Ponds, Honeywood House and the spire of Trinity Church in Sutton town centre. Gagny's shows the Hôtel De Ville, an ancient manor surrounded by a garden. The mural for Gladsaxe shows Bagsværd Lake, Bagsværd Church and Højgârd. Minden's mural features its cathedral, the Westerorbrücke bridge and the Mittelandkanal Aqueduct.[3]

2011 information board

The Sutton Council determined to erect "a new information board... to tell people the story of the murals."[3] In 2011 it was installed by the local council in the street facing the mural outside the Cock and Bull pub. Councillor Graham Tope, explained the purpose of the new sign:

These murals are an important part of our borough's history and I think it's fitting that people should be able to learn more about them. The borough's first European ties were established in 1968 ..... twinning continues to be a noteworthy part of the borough's identity.[3]

Engagement with twin towns

In November 2015 the Mayor of Sutton sent condolences to its twin town Gagny, Paris following the terrorist attacks on Paris that month.[7]

In September 2016 French folk dance group L’Aubade de Quercy from Gagny joined their UK counterparts, Pennyroyal Clog Dancers and the East Surrey Morris Men, in Trinity Square, Sutton town centre.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Mural Gallery". Gary Drostle. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Murals to get a makeover". Croydon Advertiser. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Revealing Sutton's twinning heritage 06.06.11: A set of murals celebrating Sutton's links with its continental twin towns is to be given a new lease of life" (Press release). London Borough of Sutton press office. 6 June 2011. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  4. ^ London Borough of Sutton Town Twinning page Archived 4 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Mosaic Makers website
  6. ^ "Murals for Sutton twin towns to get new lease of life". Sutton Guardian. 12 June 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2014. "Murals for Sutton twin towns to get new lease of life". London News. 12 June 2011. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  7. ^ Sutton Guardian, 16 Nov 2015
  8. ^ Sutton Guardian, 25 Sep 2016