About this project

Shepton Mallet Town Council plans to replace the existing wayfinding signage in our town with a modern, consistent system informed by current best practice.

What we mean by wayfinding signage is any maps, fingerposts or directional signs which are destined for pedestrians and are not prescribed by the Highways Authority. Wayfinding signs help first time or infrequent visitors navigate the town. This may be to plan their route to a chosen destination (for example, the library) or to explore the town. Here are some examples of the type of wayfaring signage currently in Shepton Mallet:

Fingerpost on Townsend and High Street roundabout

Fingerpost on Townsend and High Street roundabout

Map on Town Street

Map on Town Street

Directional sign on Petticoat Lane

Directional sign on Petticoat Lane









Some signs are located on land owned by the Highways Authority, some on land owned by Mendip District Council and some may be on privately owned land. The following is a map of all the wayfaring signs currently being considered within the scope of this project.

If you know of a map which looks like one of the three types of sign shown at the top of this page and is not listed on this map, please email projects@sheptonmallet-tc.gov.uk and tell us about it.


In the Summer of 2020, Shepton Mallet Town Council commissioned a specialist company to audit the current wayfaring signage provision in our town.

The main findings of this report were that:

  • There is a lack of consistency in the type of wayfaring signage as well as the information included on it.
  • Most of the signage is in poor condition.
  • There was insufficient signage to indicate the entrance to the town centre at either the Town Street or High Street entrances.

The report concluded that:

“The recommendation from People and Places Insight is a complete overhaul of the existing signage in Shepton Mallet town centre by taking down the current offer and replacing with a more innovative approach.[…] People and Places Insight recommend that new branded maps are developed and designed to replace all existing noticeboards and finger posts. […] In developing a new family of signs there is a great opportunity to create something which is unique and builds the town’s sense of place. […]”

The town council has agreed a budget of £40K for this project, to cover the costs of designing and installing a new wayfinding signage system and removing any unneeded current signage.

Project outline


Following the recommendations in the report, the Town Council is looking to replace the current wayfinding signs with a modern alternative. The report advises that:

“Current best practice thinking is that maps are better for orientating people than words alone. The ‘legible cities’ approach which has grown in popularity over the last twenty years in cities and towns uses ‘heads up maps’ i.e. they are shown so as to orient the person looking at them in the space rather than using the convention of always having north at the top of a map. They often show walking distances, using the rule of thumb that people walk at 5km per hour a 5-minute walking circle can be drawn on the map to encourage visitors to explore.”

The new maps will mostly be fitted in to ground-fitted totems or wall-mounted panels. Any new signage can incorporate both ‘interpretive’ and historic information as well as wayfinding information. The maps will locate public buildings such as the library, the police office or the hospital. They will also indicate key landmarks and points of interest, such as the Market Cross, Collett Park and St Peter and St Paul’s grade I listed church.

Below is an example of modern totem signs with heads-up maps located in Bath:


The report recommended the following locations for new wayfinding signs in Shepton Mallet town centre:

• Great Ostry Main Car Park
• Commercial Road Car Park
• Regal Road East Car Park
• Top of High Street by mini roundabout at the A371 Cannard’s Grave Road
• Foot of Town Street
• High Street/ Market Place
• At the entrance to the alleyway leading to Commercial Road Car Park from Haskins Retail Park

This list of locations is subject to change based on the advice of the contractor who carries out the work and the decision of the Town Council.


Work on this project has already begun and the Town Council hope to complete the project in 2021.

Have your say

If you have any questions, concerns or would simply like to comment on this project, please email projects@sheptonmallet-tc.gov.uk.