Bristol and Bath Railway Path
This project has been developed in collaboration with Chippenham based architects Artel 31 to activate the disused Mangotsfield railway station platform on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path. The path is a 13 mile traffic-free route maintained by Sustrans for walking, wheeling and cycling.
Mangotsfield Folly is a 12-month creative programme of site-specific outdoor artist commissions delivered alongside a new temporary folly structure and outdoor table designed and built from reclaimed materials by Artel 31 for the site of the old station ticket office. The folly structure is being constructed on site in March and April 2022.
The artist commissions programme will transform the area, creating an atmospheric resting place and free temporary arts venue for the local community to explore. Visitors to the folly will be encouraged to travel sustainably by walking, wheeling or cycling, and the programme has been designed to be delivered even in the event of a future lockdown and social distancing.
The programme of seasonally-based artist commissions will connect with the new outdoor table, former station garden and temporary folly structure. An artist residency will explore the biodiversity of the former station garden; an artwork will be designed for the exterior of the folly and a writer will be commissioned to create a new site responsive work. A local signwriter will be designing and making bespoke on-site signage for the project. We will also commission emerging local artists to create new work for display in and around the folly and table over the course of the year, with a particular aim to offer these opportunities to those who have been traditionally under-represented.
The project aims to surprise, entertain, excite and challenge local residents, reinventing what may be a familiar but unexplored place and its history through the new art commissions and structures.
The project is funded by Emersons Green Town Council and Arts Council England, with in kind support from Sustrans (who lease the inner garden on the platform) and with the consent of South Gloucestershire Council. Materials for the construction of the folly have been kindly donated by RockPanel, BBS Cladding and Hither Garden Design.
You can follow the project on Instagram: @mangotsfield_folly or visit the project website: www.mangotsfieldfolly.uk
You can find more information about the route by visiting:
For a direct link to the route on OS Maps visit:
Sustrans’ Director for England South James Cleeton says in his letter of support dated 12th February 2021:
‘The [Folly] art programme will really help to activate the structure and the disused station platform, while providing a positive opportunity for new and regular path users to enjoy art in a different context. In the past Sustrans has had a national art commissioning programme, Art and the Travelling Landscape and we recognise the value of creative projects in this particular context. Placemaking is at the heart of our work and the proposal is a great opportunity to renew public interest and enhance this key location.‘
Emersons Green Town Council say in their letter of support dated 14th January 2021:
‘The Town Council would be delighted to see this exciting project happen in our local area and feel there is great potential for this project….[the art programme] will provide an entertaining diversion to the cycle path, allowing users to benefit from local art whilst also encouraging exercise. Opportunities for enjoying the arts, such as visiting galleries, has been significantly reduced during the pandemic, so an outdoor installation such as this is particularly welcome. We are really looking forward to some exciting and innovative artist commissions.’