Newcastle Photos Part 2 – Monuments

As promised, here is the second part of my Newcastle photos. This installment focuses on sculptures and monuments, though some architecture has found its way in here, too, because the two cannot always be neatly separated.

Grey's Monument

Grey's Monument, honouring parliamentary reformer Charles Earl Grey, who also lent his name to the famous tea blend

Occupy Newcastle

Occupy protesters camped out at the foot of Grey's monumnet, including a gentleman in a Guy Fawkes/V for Vendetta mask. Given Earl Grey's commitment to parliamentary reform, the anti-slavery movement, etc... it seems strangely fitting that the Occupy protesters have chosen his monument as a site for their camp.

Angel of the North

The Angel of the North, a modern sculpture on a hill in Gateshead, viewed through some rose hips

Angel of the North

The Angel of the North in its full glory. It's 20 meters high, the wing span is 54 meters.

Angel of the North

A closer look at the Angel. The people at its foot demonstrate how huge the sculpture is.

South African War Monument and Church of St Thomas the Martyr

Another angel, this one commemorating the fallen of the South African war, and the Church of St Thomas the Martyr in the background

Newcastle Civic Centre

The Civic Centre, a surprisingly interesting building from that lost decade of architecture, the 1960s

Newcastle Civic Centre

A closer look at the tower of the Civic Centre and an interesting lamp

Civic Centre, Tyne God

The Tyne God, a giant bronze sculpture hanging from the facade of the Civic Centre. I suspect that it was a fountain at some point, though the water was switched off.

Flying Swans at the Civic Centre

A sculpture depicting flying swans in the courtyard of the Civic Centre

Civic Centre Lobby

Chandelier in the lobby of the Civic Centre. The glass of the entrance door was decorated with etchings.

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8 Responses to Newcastle Photos Part 2 – Monuments

  1. Sherwood says:

    Oh I love the flying swans!

    • Cora says:

      The swans reminded me of the old German folk song about the five wild swans and of the fairy tale of the seven brothers who were transformed into swans.

      For a modern (1960s) building, the Newcastle Civic Centre has some stunning artwork.

  2. Laran says:

    Looking at the picture makes me quite “home”-sick. I think you captured the monuments very well! Sadly, my skills in photographing are nearly non-existent…

    The church of St. Thomas, by the way, which announces in bold letters on its front doors “Do justice at the gate”, each year has a screening of Life of Brian, in the church. To me that felt weird; it seems the notions of “sacred space” in the Black forest and Northeastern England are very different. There is a local pun to “Do justice at the gate”, by the way – “The Gate” is the name of the infamous downtown pleasure mall (lots of cheap pubs, clubs, restaurants, gaming places and a cinema in one mall). Not a place I would like to go at night.

    • Cora says:

      Glad you like the photos.

      The idea of screening The Life of Brian at a church of all places seems strange to me, too. I remember that there was some uproar when a local arthouse cinema screened it at Easter a while back even though they were nowhere near a church. Though I suspect that British attitudes towards religion in general are different, considering that a lot of British speculative fiction, films, TV shows and comic books is a more or less direct discussion and sometimes outright criticism of Christianity and Christian concepts. From the POV, The Life of Brian probably is considered a piece of theological discussion.

      I accidentally stumbled upon The Gate when I took a wrong turn after eating at nearby Chinatown. Not a place where I’d like to spend more time than absolutely necessary.

  3. Estara says:

    Okay, now the swans and in a minor way the Tyne God I can see as sculptures – I rather like the swans. But that angel thing I would only be afraid of a wing falling off.
    However that sixties building with the seahorse heads and the crown-like streetlights, I really enjoy that as well.

    • Cora says:

      Allegedly, the Angel can withstand windspeeds up to Beaufort 12 or so and is also anchored deep in the ground, so there’s not much of a danger of anything falling off.

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