Three artists are developing proposals for a major new landmark which could become a fantastic destination in rural Northumberland to encourage visitors from far and wide to explore and contemplate the Northumbrian landscape.
The project aims to benefit local communities through increased tourism. The project is named after Queen Elizabeth II, not only the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch but also the world's longest-reigning queen and female head of state and current monarch. Add to that the fact that Queen Elizabeth II is the oldest and longest-serving current head of state and one has to ask, “if she doesn’t deserve a monument, who does?”
That’s exactly the question Lord Devonport of Northumberland has been asking himself for the better part of two decades, and now, as we reach 70 years since The Commonwealth established that all member states should be "free and equal under the guidance of Queen Elizabeth II”, he is putting plans in action to create such a sculpture.
Lord Devonport, or Terence Kearley, 3rd Viscount Devonport as he is also known, is a philanthropist and retired architect, known in Northumberland for his regeneration of the Ray Demesne estate on which he has restored buildings, replaced dilapidated livestock shelters and replanted thousands of native trees.
“I have a great admiration for Queen Elizabeth II,” explains Viscount Devonport, “she is the longest-serving monarch, reigning for 66 years to date, she has navigated the Royal Family and The Commonwealth through enormous change and times of great uncertainty. She personally moved The Commonwealth into a free, equal and voluntary group of member states united by language, history, and culture. Unifying them under shared values of democracy, free speech and human rights. What she has achieved on the global stage, is a true inspiration.”
The Elizabeth Landmark, as it will be known, is set to be 60m high and, following a period of technical engineering development, will be situated atop Cold Law, a small hillside on the Ray Demesne estate, in between the five parishes of Corsenside, Otterburn, Great Bavington, Kirkwelpington, West Woodburn and Elsdon. The hill is outside of the Northumberland National Park area but has a fascinating industrial history linked to engineering pioneers of the region Lord Armstrong and Charles Parsons. It will be visible on the horizon from the A68 and surrounding countryside, and with plans for a purpose-built car-park, visitors will be able to walk around the landmark, learning more about The Commonwealth and our shared heritage through a series of commissioned poems .