Land Trust pays tribute to Charles Jencks - the man behind The Lady of the North - as he passes away at the age of 80

23rd October 2019

The Land Trust was saddened to learn of the death of Charles Jencks, the renowned landscape designer and architectural historian, at the age of 80.

Land Trust, Director of portfolio management, Alan Carter, said:

“Everyone at the Land Trust was sad to hear of the passing of Charles Jencks and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

“His life was full of so many accomplishments and we are especially proud to manage ‘The Lady of the North’ at Northumberlandia, one of his biggest works, and an amazing part of his legacy.”

The centrepiece of Northumberlandia, ‘The Lady of the North’ is a stunning human landform of a reclining lady made of 1.5 million tonnes of rock, clay and soil. She is 100 feet high and a quarter of a mile long.

Northumberlandia was built by the Banks Group as part of the restoration of the adjacent Shotton surface coal mine. This project is known as restoration first – taking an extra piece of land donated by the landowner and providing a new landscape for the community to enjoy while the mine is operational.

It currently attracts over 100,000 visitors a year.

Speaking about the inspiration behind Northumberlandia, Jencks said:

“Northumberlandia does not relate to a particular goddess or religion, it is a landscape which incorporates references to the human body towards which we have a natural empathy. The landform can be enjoyed in parts and within many different contexts including the distant landscape, the causeways, lakes and willow islands, and viewing pavilions.”


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Charles Jencks was the man behind the innovative design of Nortumberlandia

Land, in particular public open space and wildlife, has always been my passion and here at the Land Trust I get to make a difference. I enjoy covering a large area of England and Wales and seeing a wide variety of sites. No site is the same, so it makes my job interesting.

Alison Whitehead, Development Manager

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