Angel of the North

The Angel of the North

I am writing this week from the north-east, Gateshead to be precise, where we are visiting family. A trip up north for me always involves a visit to the Angel of the North, just five minutes from my Mum’s house. Catching sight of the Angel as we come off the A1 motorway means that I am ‘home’. But this stunning Anthony Gormley sculpture is so much more than that. Everything about it – from the  design to the material to the location – is just right. Everything has been thought through. And I mean really thought through.

Standing 20 meters tall with a wingspan of 54 meters and weighing 200 tonnes, the Angel is Britain’s largest sculpture, and  remains one of the most talked about pieces of public art ever produced.

The design is in the detail

The Design:  The Angel’s wings do not stand straight sideways, but are angled 3.5 degrees forward; a deliberate move by Gormley to create “a sense of embrace”.

The Material: Made from weathering steel containing a small amount of copper, which gives the Angel its distinctive patina.

The Location: Sitting atop a panoramic hilltop and built to withstand winds of over 100 mph, the sculpture is seen by more than 90,000 drivers a day as they whizz along the A1. That is more than one person every single second.

And that is just for starters. If you have never stood beneath the wings of this giant while looking out across the valley below, you really are missing out.

Be amazed by it. Be inspired by it. Be in awe of it. I know I am.

Until next time,



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