Mystery of carving on wall at castle prison

The carving in the wall.
The carving in the wall.

A visitor to an iconic attraction is desperate to find out more about a historic carving on a prison wall, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a famous contemporary North East landmark.

Mandy McFarland, from Alnwick, could not believe her eyes when she saw the winged figure inside the cell at Warkworth Castle.

Believed to have been carved during the time of Henry VIII, Mandy thinks it is identical to the Angel of the North.

She now wants to find out more about the carving and if it, by any chance, inspired Antony Gormley when he was designing the famous Gateshead-based sculpture.

Posting on Facebook, she said: ‘I saw this tiny little carving in the wall of what was once a prison for Catholics during the Reformation of Henry VIII at Warkworth Castle and have been struck by the story of its undeniable resemblance to The Angel of the North.”

In her opinion, it’s one of two stories. She said: ‘Either it’s a complete coincidence and Antony Gormley had never seen this tiny little carving, or he had and it inspired him to recreate it in all it’s magnificent glory. If Mr Gormley hasn’t seen this, it would probably blow his mind to know this was carved into a prison cell in 1500-and-something.

‘Look, it is the Angel of the North – I just have to get to the bottom of this. It’ll be an ongoing process for me. Or if anyone has any insight it’d be greatly appreciated.’

The Angel of the North was completed in 1998. The steel sculpture is 20 metres tall, with wings measuring 54 metres across. The Gazette messaged Mr Gormley via his Facebook page, but did not receive a comment before going to press.