A major new £1million landmark, which would be three times the height of the Angel of the North, is being planned for rural Northumberland.
The eye-catching 60-metre-tall structure would honour the long-running reign of the Queen and celebrate the unity, heritage and diversity of The Commonwealth.
Known as The Elizabeth Landmark, it would be situated atop Cold Law, a small hillside on the Ray Demesne estate, in between the parishes of Corsenside, Otterburn, Great Bavington, Kirkwelpington, West Woodburn and Elsdon.
If it goes ahead, it is envisaged that the contemporary monument would encourage visitors from far and wide to explore and contemplate the Northumberland landscape, boosting tourism in the process.
The idea is the brainchild of Lord Devonport, or Terence Kearley, 3rd Viscount Devonport, who is a philanthropist and retired architect and regenerated the Ray Demesne estate.
He has funded three acclaimed artists to produce a proposal detailing how they would tackle the ambitious project and public exhibitions are being held to gauge public opinion.
Viscount Devonport said: “This is a celebration of shared values, of a connected global community. In what is an increasingly fractured world, The Commonwealth is a unifying force, led by Queen Elizabeth II, who I have great admiration for.”
The monument would be outside the Northumberland National Park. A road from the A68 to the landmark would feature work from poets and writers from around The Commonwealth. The landmark itself would be seen from the surrounding countryside.
The artists commissioned for the project are Colin Rose, near Alnwick; Peter J Evans, from Newcastle; and Simon Hitchens, in the West Country.
Residents, visitors and interested parties will be able to visit the free exhibition of proposals, as well as view them online.
The public is encouraged to ask questions and give their opinions on The Elizabeth Landmark idea and proposals, after which an artist will be chosen to take forward the project.
The exhibitions, all 11am to 4pm, will be at Kirkwhelpington Village Hall (May 9 to 15); Otterburn Memorial Hall (May 15 to 23); and Corsenside Parish Hall, known as Woodburn Village Hall (May 24).
Viscount Devonport said: “A project on this scale will need a great deal of planning. We estimate some 12 months of planning and development exercises before we will be able to confirm exactly what The Elizabeth Landmark will look like.
“This is just part of the journey; initial ideas and design in 2018, detailed planning and development in 2018/19, and hopefully the announcement of the final design in spring 2019.”
Planning permission would also need to be sought.
While the cost of the project is some £1million, Viscount Devonport asserts this will not come from the public purse.
He added: “Without knowing yet the artist who will be chosen to take the design forward, we can’t know the cost of the creation of this sculpture, but we do know that we want to create a proud monument that will celebrate our Queen for hundreds of years to come.
“We will explore our funding options in 2019 as and when we have selected the artist who will bring the landmark to life.”