On our way to Durham, we decided to stop and have a look at one of the most famous landmarks in the north of England.
The Angel of the North is a sculpture by the artist Antony Gormley. The sculpture, which is made out of steel, is 20 metres (66 ft) with a wing span of 54 metres (177 ft). The Angel stands overlooking the A1 and A167 roads on the outskirts of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
When we first when to visit the Angel it was shrouded in mist, giving the area an eerie atmosphere.
According to Gormley, there are three reasons why an angel is significant:
- To signify that beneath the spot where the Angel stands, coal miners had worked for 200 years.
- To grasp the transition from an industrial to and information age.
- To serve as a focus for our evolving hopes and fears.
Although the weather wasn’t perfect the fog did frame the Angel beautifully, and we couldn’t help but gaze upon it with awe.
A side view of the Angel. You can just about make out the slight contours of its face.
The Angel was built at Hartlepool Steel Fabrications Ltd using Corten weather resistant steel. It was built to withstand winds of over 100 mph (160 km/h) and has concrete foundations weighing 600 tonnes which run 21 metres (70 ft) below the Angel, anchoring it to the rock.
The sculpture was built in three parts and brought to it’s roadside home to be constructed there. Each wing weighs 50 tonnes each and the body weighs 100 tonnes. It took 4 years to build and cost £800,000.
On our way back from Durham we decided to stop by the Angel again, and thankfully the weather had picked up. The sun was shining and we could see the Angel in all its glory.
At first the Angel caused much controversy, but is now considered a landmark for North East England. It is often used in television and film to represent Tyneside, and is now a much loved icon of the North.