Since its completion in the winter of 1998, the Angel of the North has become one of northern England’s most iconic landmarks. Towering high above the A1 motorway adjacent to Gateshead, the 200 ton statue was designed by internationally renowned sculptor Antony Gormley, who has created a number of works inspired by the human body.
In the late 1990s, as urban redevelopment gripped the industrial north, the Angel stood as the gateway to a community reborn, while encapsulating the spirit of the North East as a great ship building region. The area includes the city of Newcastle on the north bank of the River Tyne and the contiguous town of Wallsend, where famous liners like RMS Carpathia (rescuer of the Titanic’s survivors) and RMS Mauritania were built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson.
The Angel of the North took four years to complete and cost £1 million. Its steel structure is 66 feet tall and wider than the Statue of Liberty is high! It was built in three huge sections at Hartlepool Steel Fabrications Ltd. Click here to see some photos of the immense process and learn more about how it was done.
Though there was some initial controversy, public opinion soon veered in favour of the huge statue as locals took great pride in how the Angel had put the Newcastle area back on the international map. The structure looks particularly striking against the somewhat changeable northern sky.
The Angel of the North is now so well known that it has even been replicated as a sweet in a six foot rendering of a UK map! It has also been recreated in miniature for an exhibition this summer at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Click the images above to view sources.