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Posted: 29th June 2022

Landmarks from a castle to an historic cannon and a windmill form part of an eye-catching mural created as the centrepiece for a seaside pub garden.

The 10m-long mural runs almost the entire length of the outside space at the picturesque Shepherd Neame pub, the William the Conqueror, which is a stone’s throw from historic Rye Harbour.

Commissioned by licensees Neil and Maria Smallwood to celebrate the local area, the stunning artwork includes the River Rother running all the way through it, echoing the river’s meandering path through the town.

The pair, who have run the pub for the independent Faversham-based brewer for around seven years, commissioned graffiti artist Luke Brabants to create it, after previously asking him to paint a Bayeux Tapestry-inspired mural at another of their pubs, the King’s Head in Battle.

Maria said: “I just wanted to inject some colour into our garden. The space was just concrete before, with tables, but now we have moved the tables to the sides so everyone can see the amazing mural.

“I wanted to celebrate the area we are in and I wanted it in the style of old station posters, which Luke then took inspiration from. All the different aspects of Rye are in it – the landmarks; the river and the seagulls.

“Incidentally, the seagulls weren’t kind to Luke’s work – they gave him a hard time! But he persevered and it took him a couple of weeks to complete it. We are very pleased with it.”

The concept has proved popular with visitors, including tourists to the area, who are able to spot the landmarks to look out for on their way around the town while enjoying a drink in the garden overlooking the river.

Maria added: “People have been saying it is amazing. It does look really nice, and it is a great talking point with customers.”

The pub in Rye Harbour is a small and friendly traditional venue, serving real ales and hearty pub food and Greek/Cyprus specialties, while the large seating area outside which features the mural sits on the banks of the River Rother.

To find out more and to book, you can find the William the Conqueror at Rye Harbour, Rye, TN31 7TU, call 01797 223315 or visit