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Tiles of Stow Ltd
Langston Priory Workshops
Station Road
Oxon OX7 6UP

Tile Restoration Project at Broad Street Bristol

Edward Everard's Monument to
Gutenberg, Morris and the Printer's Art

Last year we were involved in a large tile restoration project in Broad Street Bristol. We were approached by Shaylors Building Contractors from Birmingham to reproduce missing tiles from a large grade 1 listed ceramic mural that faced an old printing works in the city centre.



Main tile mural and damaged areas of tiles to be restored

Click on the pictures to enlarge

  • Broad Street Main Mural Whole Facade
    The impressive facade to Edward Everard's printing works in Broad Street Bristol before restoration.
  • W.J. Neatby's tile mural before restoration
    W.J. Neatby's tile mural showing figures of Gutenberg, the father of printing, and William Morris, the leading figure of the craftwork revival surrounded by the letters of their designed alphabets. Between them is a winged figure, representing the Spirit of Literature.
  • One of the Dome Turrets
    One of the two decorated octagonal turrets,surmounted by domes and finials that are on the top of the building. The missing heart tiles had to be replaced.
  • The missing tiles to the mural
    The missing lettered tiles to right side of the mural that needed to be replaced. The originals were destroyed, so a fair amount of guess work and fine calculations were necessary to match the replacements to the original mural.
  • Detail of the mural before cleaning
    Here one can see the state of the original tiles in detail, and the extent to which they needed to be cleaned.

Cleaning and restoring the original tiles ready for re-fixing

  • Broken Heart tile from one of the turrets
    One of the broken heart tiles which we used as a guide to produce the replacements.
  • Some of the tiles from the mural before restoration
    Detail of some of the mural tiles before restoration
  • Letter tiles before restoration
    Detail of some of the mural tiles before restoration
  • Drying the tiles before and after restoration
    We had to dry the damp tiles before we cleaned them in our drying racks normally used to dry freshly made tiles.
  • Drying Tiles
    We had to dry the damp tiles before we cleaned them in our drying racks normally used to dry freshly made tiles.
  • Cleaning Tiles
    Each tile was cleaned using a very mild solution of special cleaning fluid - we removed the grime without damaging the glazed surface
  • Cleaning Tile backs
    Each of the mural tiles had grooves to aid adhesion when fixing, but of course were caked in mortar. This was painstakingly removed.
  • Cleaning grout channels
    May of the tiles had grout channels cut into them as part of the design. These were filled with very hard grout which had to be carefully removed to avoid damaging the glazed surface.
  • Laying Out Restored Tiles
    The cleaned tiles were layed out in sections and photographed. Detailed elevations were then drawn up to aid re-fixing the mural.
  • Close up of restored tiles
  • Layout of the angel motif begins
  • Layout of the angel motif
  • Layout of the angel motif
  • Layout of the angel motif
  • Layout of the angel motif finished and photgraphed on a blue screen

Making the Heart Shapes for the Turrets

  • Moulding the original Heart tile
    Having hand carved the original heart tile it was moulded to make a master mould
  • Releasing the original mould
    Releasing the original carving to reveal the negative "female mould"
  • Filling Heart Mould
    Moulds were made from a master rubber mould. Here clay is put into the mould ready for pressing
  • Pressing the mould
    The clay is compressed into the mould using a tile press
  • Releasing Mould
    The completed tile is released from its mould
  • Fettling Hearts
    The heart tiles are then fettled and finished ready for drying
  • Tiles Drying
    The tiles are dried for over a week - here shown ready for the kiln
  • Tiles In Bisque Kiln
    The dried tiles loaded and ready to be bisque fired
  • Glazing the heart tiles
    The bisqued tiles are glazed with carefully prepared stoneware glazes
  • Heart In The Kiln
    The finished hearts being placed into the kiln for their second glaze firing - fired to 1250 degrees C.

Hand Painting the reproduction letter tiles and the finished restored mural

  • Painting the letters onto the glazed tiles
    The complicated process of stencilling and painting the letters onto each of the tiles begins.
  • Hand painting the letters
    Each letter receives 4 coats of special glaze to replicate the original colour of the tiles
  • The finished fired letters
    After the third firing the tiles match almost exactly the original tiles. Spot the new tiles!
  • The finished fired letters
    After the third firing the tiles match almost exactly the original tiles. Spot the new tiles!
  • Seb & Odette
    It's taken us about three months of work to complete the reproduction tiles. It's hard to see the amount of research, trials and heartache that goes into making reproduction tiles. We think the result is worth the expense!
  • Main Mural restored and finished
    The finished mural in all it's glory! Cleaned, restored with the replacement tiles, the whole facade of the building looks like new again.
  • Our restored letters
    You can see here the letter tiles that we restored - AB, CD, EF and HIJ. We're happy to say that they look like they're part of the original mural.
  • Our restored letters
    From a distance, the restored letters complete Morris's alphabet.
  • The restored Turret
    The turret orange heart shapes finish the left hand turret. The bright shiny glaze will soften over time to fully match the originals.
  • The restored Turret in close-up
    The heart shapes - bathed in the April sunshine.
  • The finished mural
    W.J. Neatby's mural of Gutenburg and Morris fully restored.

Special Commissions

Renaissance Interior Narrow Boat Landscape Persian Rug Mural Restoration

Renaissance Interior

Narrow Boat Landscape

Persian Rug

Restoration Project in Bristol

Triptych House Facade Brazilian Tile Battle of Dunsinane

Triptych mural

House Facade

Brazilian Tile

Battle of Dunsinane


Street Letters





Return to Tile Mural Catalogue

Introduction to our Murals


Tile Collections

MotifsTiles of Stow Decorated Tiles
MosaicsTiles of Stow Mosaics
ImpressionsTiles of Stow Hand Made Impressions
ColourTiles of Stow Tile Colours
MuralsTiles of Stow Hand Painted Tile Murals
Tile GiftsTiles of Stow Tile Gifts
FloorsTiles of Stow Floor Tile Collection
NeutralsTiles of Stow Neutrals
GlassTiles of Stow Terracotta Plaques

Tiled Garden Obelisk

See more on our new Stoneware Tiled Obelisk


Tiling the House

See more of our latest specially Commissioned projects


Tiles of Stow Movies

Making our Tile Murals

Making our Tile Murals Movie

Making our Impressions Tiles

Making our Impressions Tiles Movie



See how we make our unique tiles

We've been making the Impressions range for 20 years - our slide show takes you through the making process.




Commissions on tiles

Click to see our Swimming Pool Tile murals

• Swimming Pool • Therapy pool • Baptismal Font • Underwater scene • Birthing Pool

Client's comments

Our narrowboat - "Blanche" - has finally arrived at her home mooring in Nantwich and I have finally got round to taking pictures of her. I want to say thank you so much for the tiles, they really make the whole of the front cabin a show piece. Everyone who has been on board loves the mural and the cows. 
CR Staffs