As you travel north on the A167 towards Gateshead in Tyne & Wear you will see the angel of the north towering above you.
She is visited by 150,000 people a year and seen by 90,000 drivers a day – one person every second.
She is a contemporary sculpture, the largest sculpture in Britain and thought to be the biggest angel sculpture in the world. She was designed by Anthony Gormley in February 1998 and finished the same year. She stands 20 meters high with a wing span of 54 meters which is larger than a Boeing 757 or 767 and almost the same as a Jumbo Jet. She is made out of 200 tonnes of steel and covered with the weather resistant Cor-ten steel which contains a small amount of copper that will allow the surface to mellow with age, all at a cost of 800,000 sterling pounds.
When asked why an angel, Anthony Gormley first remarked, ” She stands on a site where below her, coal miners worked in the dark for 200 hundred years.
The people of the North knew about her long before she was built and at first many thought of her as an eye sore. But with time they have come to make more positive reviews like, ” when I see her, I know I am nearly home. “
We had passed her many times, before we finally decided to pay her a call. You park the car not far away and walk up the hill to her base. It is not a particularly long nor hard walk unless there has been a considerable rain fall the day before, then the grassy slopes can by be quite slippery.
The day was cool, a little overcast and was drawing to a close by the time we stopped. Yet, we had to wait for quite a while in order to take our photos without having too many other visitors in the pictures with us.
But it was well worth the trip – quite the experience.
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