National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Salamander Obelisk

Summary

Type Sculpture , Marker

     This open tower-like structure is made from steel tubing, with the bottom part filled in by steel panels. On the upper part of the tower and all down the sides is decorative wrought iron scroll work. The ornate filagree steel salamander is contained within the upper part of the tower, and acts as a gateway marker to Dudley Town Centre. The salamander is surrounded by symbolic flames, with decorative scroll work on its head. The tower stands on a steel plinth, and is coloured in shades of bronze and red. There is a decorative fence around the work in filagree steel, painted in bronze. Its height varies from 50cm to 2 metres.
     This sculpture is part of a whole programme of works along Dudley's Southern Bypass that has been funded under the Percent for Art scheme. The design was chosen from two possible options put before the public in January 2000, namely the Salamander Obelisk and a series of smaller obelisks shaped like nails, each topped with a silhouette of a famous Dudley personality from the worlds of trade and industry, art and sport.(1) In the event, it was decided that the figures would be installed on the grass verge next to the roundabout, but that this would be more of a long-term strategy, whereas it was originally intended to instal the Salamander Obelisk by the end of 2000.(2)
     The artist has stated that he chose the salamander because of its reputed ability to regenerate limbs or tail. He saw the creature as a symbol of the ongoing regeneration of Dudley Town Centre. The salamander also appears in the borough's historic coat of arms, and this too guided his choice of design.

Inscriptions

Dudley/Town/Centre (at base of obelisk on both sides)

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Field, Steve Designer
Apollo Engineering, None Metal worker
Sier, Malcolm Letter carver

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Obelisk Filigree steel, painted 9.5m tall x 1.8m long x 65cm wide
Plinth Steel, painted bronze 1.84m high x 1.2m wide x 2.6m deep
Fence Steel, painted bronze Max height 2m; diameter 11m; total length 33m

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WMduDUxx034 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • No damage
Structural condition
  • None
Vandalism
  • None
Road Southern Bypass
Precise location Flood Street Roundabout
A-Z ref 95 1F
OS ref SO945900
Date of design 2000-2001
Year of unveiling 2001
Unveiling details 2001
Commissioned by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Duty of care Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? No known risk

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