Southwark Gateway Needle

by Eric Parry Architects (1999)

Location: Walk up Duke’s Street Hill towards London Bridge, by Evans Cycles at the top of the hill.

The Southwark Gateway Needle is made of 25 specially shaped Portland stone blocks and sits at an angle of 19.5 degrees. It was designed by Eric Parry Architects as part of the Southwark Gateway Project. While excavating the foundations for the Needle two large granite blocks were unearthed which dated back to approximately 1826 and formed part of the John Rennie Bridge. These were incorporated into the project and were raised on stainless steel brackets to form a seating area.

Depending on who you speak to, the pointed obelisk represents either:
– a kind of memorial to those whose heads were placed on spikes above the gateway that once stood at the southern end of London Bridge, or, and more likely
– a marker that points across the Thames to Magnus the Martyr church, which marked the point where London Bridge was originally located.

Commissioned by Southwark Council as part of the Southwark Gateway project.

Eric Parry Architects