Angel of The North: Happy birthday to one of the region’s finest landmarks

Written by on 15th February 2024

As The Angel of The North celebrated its birthday on Thursday, locals, including an Olympic torch bearer, shared their memories of the landmark.  

The Angel turned 26 years old today and located on the side of the A1 motorway, it stands 65ft (20m) tall dominating Gateshead’s skyline. 

Sir Antony Gormley was the designer behind the 200-tonne landmark, built in 1998 on the site of a former coal mine. 

We spoke to four people who have all visited the Angel of The North, who shared their thoughts on one of Britain’s most-viewed pieces of art.

“I’m back home”

London 2012 Olympic torch bearer Charlotte Proud, said: “The Angel has always felt like a sign that I am back home”.  

“I was not born in the North East but all my family are from up here, I regularly visited throughout my childhood. I have lived up here for almost 14 years now.” She continued.  

Proud spoke of how she feels like the North East is a “special place” and how she felt lucky to carry the Olympic torch through Blaydon back in 2012.  

“The Angel of the North divides opinion but I think it’s brilliant. It is definitely one of my favourite places to visit whenever I can.”

A young Charlotte poses like the Angel – Credit: Charlotte Proud


“Seeing it at sunrise for first time with sun reflecting off the copper – beautiful! Don’t live in North East anymore but when I glimpse it from the train window always feel like I am back home.” X user David Willoughby posted.  

Willoughby in-front of the landmark – Credit: David Willoughby

“I’ll never forget” 

North Shields born Angela Hunter said on Facebook that she emigrated to Australia in 1972 but visited the Angel on holiday in 2000.

“I’ll never forget rounding the corner and seeing her looming up against the beautiful grey skies”

An opportunity for money making missed? 

X user Liam Gaughan claimed to have lived in Newcastle his whole life but had only recently visited the monument.    

“Honestly I am kind of surprised at how little there is there.” Gaughan stated.  

“I was expecting a cafe or a pub or something. I think there’s money being missed by not having something there.  

Liam photoed with the Angel – Credit: Liam Gaughan

The Angel of the North is an iconic landmark synonymous with the region. Who knows how long it will watch over Tyne and Wear,  but love it or hate it, it’s not going anywhere soon.

Current track