Nuclear Dawn

Hiding behind some trees, located on an old building in Brixton is a mural entitled Nuclear Dawn but perhaps better known to local people as the “one with the skeleton in”.

  • Recollections of Nuclear Dawn - Dale McCrea

    An account of how this mural came about.

    I was collecting waste vegetables from Covent Garden and walked past a site where Brian Barnes was starting a mural. He advertised for an assistant, and I turned up and started.

    When that mural was nearly complete, and my immigration was sorted out, I signed on at the Dole Office in Coldharbour Lane. When I came out I saw the perfect mural wall on the side of the derelict Carlton Mansions.

    I was squatting in Rectory Gardens in Clapham and one night a man from Shelter turned up with a woman. They said they had asked Lambeth Council what they were doing about empty property. Lambeth said they didn’t have any. “What about Carlton Mansions?” said they. Lambeth said ”Dale McCrea is interested in that."

    Then there was a lot of talk of short life housing co-ops, and I started the Arcological Housing Co-op and Last Minute Productions to do the building work.

    I had designed a poster for a Squatters Ball based on a drawing by Felicien Rops called Satan Sowing Seeds. A muralist from America said that all American murals were going anti-nuclear so Brian took the Poster idea and turned it into Nuclear Dawn.

    I was going to do a Bumble Bee.

Share your memories of 'Nuclear Dawn'

Do you remember this mural being painted? What does it mean to your community? Do you or one of your neighbours appear in the mural? We want to build an archive of interviews, audio and video of people's memories of this mural. Please get in touch to share your story.

This mural is in OK condition

Where to find it

Carlton Mansions, 387 Coldhabour Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8QD

It can be found on the side of a Victorian maisonette block located opposite the 'Brixton Village' indoor market. In front of the mural is a fenced off car park with many young trees obscuring the view.
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9 m x 15 m Person for scale


1981 1981
Completed Opened


  • Paint: Household paint


How to get there

P4 or any bus for Brixton Station

© London Mural Preservation Society 2020