The Steelworker Mural – Sheffield, England - Atlas Obscura

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The Steelworker Mural

This magnificent mural was created with over 30,000 colored bricks.  


This magnificent mural was created in 1986 by artist Paul Waplington and was constructed by adding an extra layer of bricks to the exposed gable end of a four-story, 19th-century commercial building in the heart of the city, currently the Roma Restaurant.

It is essentially a mosaic constructed by laying over 30,000 bricks, of various colors, to form the image of an actual Sheffield steelworker. The original image was modified slightly to comply with the constraints of the medium. For example, the eyes were made bigger since otherwise the pupils and whites would be smaller than a brick.

The mural uses 18 different types of bricks and five different types of mortar. The worker wears a traditional silk muffler, used at times in steelworks to cover the mouth and nose, a hard hat and a typical flip-down eye shield used to protect the eyes whilst observing the molten steel in either the furnace or Bessemer converter.

Know Before You Go

Parking is difficult in Sheffield. You may find a street parking place on Blonk Street. If traveling from either the North or South on the M1 it is best to use the park and ride facilities, at Meadowhall retail park or Halfway tram terminal respectively, and travel on tram system to Castle Square. The best view of the mural is from outside the Snig Hill police headquarters.

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November 6, 2018

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