Tuesday, 12 August 2014


The lurchers and I are at Northumberlandia today which is a bit of a downer for them because they have to stay on the lead.
Initial view of Northumberlandia - her face in profile between two gateway mounds.

The idea of the place is one of landscape sculpture combined with wildlife conservation. The sculpture part is of a goddess or giantess called Northumberlandia who is looking up to the sky. You explore the sculpture by following circuitous and maze-like paths. For example we have just now walked up her arm and are passing her ample right breast.

Northumberlandia's right arm and bosom. You can just make out one of her open eyes. 

The opportunity for the landscape sculpture arose in the wake of an area of open cast coal and fireclay extraction being closed down. It is normal for the company extracting the site to restore the landscape to something like its former state, but in this case it was felt that they could create something a little bit different.

Blagdon Estates open-cast workings continue adjacent to the Lady.
Although Northumberlandia is a brazen hussy on top, she is a little more demure further down, lying on her right hip which is deep within the earth. You can see her left hip and her left knee beyond the swell of her breast below: they look a bit pointy because there are shelters there, which were very much appreciated by visitors today, with the remnant of Hurricane Bertha still being felt here in the North East of England. In this picture you also get the best idea of what her eyes look like, as the picture is taken from her brow, looking down her nose. You are not allowed to get any closer to her face than that.

View from the Lady's brow. You can just see her eyes gazing up into the clouds and the ridge of her nose. If you follow the path through her decolletageyou come to her left hip and left knee, both visible here.

Northumbriana's face from below. You can just see her eyes, her nose is prominent and the grey lump below is her mouth. Not her best side!

There are handy sight-lines dotted about the site: this one to Lindisfarne is on her left bosom.
Rather than have a single place which points out local landmarks, etc, they are instead dotted about the site so that you are rewarded with them as you explore. Her left pap points to Holy Island (above), while her right acknowledges her rival, The Angel of the North. I feel that what the Angel is to travellers from the south on the A1, Northumbriana must be to air travellers, as the site is on the eastern approach to Newcastle Airport, although I must say that I did not notice any planes flying overhead while I was there.

The Lady from the much neglected left side

The rocky bump at the summit is her hip, so I guess this is the most flattering view of her bum.

Well, I'm sorry that had so little to do with the lurchers today, but apart from getting a very long walk, they really didn't get to do much here. I had planned to take them to Plessey Woods Country Park, but I didn't have my wallet with me and the coins I had in my pocket would not have covered even the two hour stay in the car park there. It seems daft that all of the town centres in Northumberland now have free parking, but the country parks do not. Still, there you have it, for want of £1.80 the lurchers had a walk on the lead around the biggest lass in the North-East!

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