Thomas Paine obelisk

Thomas Paine obelisk Thomas Paine obelisk

Erection date: 13/6/1991


Thomas Paine
{Low down on the front, brass plaque in a wooden frame:}
This sculpture was unveiled by Sir William Barlow, Chairman of BICC, plc, on the 13th June 1991.
It was commissioned by BICC Developments Ltd and created by Kevin Jordan M.A. (R.C.A.) as a tribute to Thomas Paine, whose work 'Rights of Man' was written at the Angel and published in 1791.

{Each face of the obelisk is decorated:}
{front, facing west, the profile of Paine and a large key and:}
Thomas Paine, 1737 - 1809

These are the times that try men's' souls.

{north face:
a large fasces and:}
My country is my world and my religion is to do good.

{back, east face:
an axe around which twists a leaving branch which it appears to have just severed and:}
Lay then the axe to the root and teach governments humanity.

{south face:
a star and:}
It is necessary for the happiness of man that he is mentally faithful to himself.

Erected on the 200th anniversary of the publication of Paine's "Rights of Man", written while Paine lived at the Angel Inn which used to stand on the north west corner of the nearby Pentonville Road and Islington High Street junction.

This monument can be compared with Dance's Obelisk. Paine's obelisk is better explained than Dance's but the quality of its design and workmanship is much inferior.

Site: Thomas Paine obelisk (1 memorial)

EC1, Angel Square

The obelisk is in the courtyard of Angel Square, 1 Torrens Street. This huge development, by Rock Townsend in 1991, is worth a look. It is decorated with the full gamut of post-modern tropes: tower, clock, sundial, rustication, decorative brickwork, pyramids, domes, etc.

The main tenant of these offices currently (2008) seems to be HM Customs and Excise.

2022: There are plans to redevelop Angel Square into a bland, generic, glass, office block. It seems they are planning to replace only the facades, keeping the structural frame.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Thomas Paine obelisk

Subjects commemorated i

Thomas Paine

Revolutionary. Born Thetford, Norfolk. Emigrated to the British American colo...

Read More

This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Thomas Paine obelisk

Created by i

Sir William Barlow

Born Oldham. At various times Chair of the Post Office, BICC, etc. President ...

Read More

Kevin Jordan

M.A. (R.C.A.)

Read More

Nearby Memorials

Steve Fairbairn

Steve Fairbairn

SW15, Putney Towpath Embankment

{Medallion on an obelisk, with a portrait:} Steve Fairbairn, 1862 1938. {Plaque beneath medallion:} This memorial commemorates the cen...

3 subjects commemorated, 4 creators
Royal Naval Division - WW1

Royal Naval Division - WW1

SW1, Horse Guards Parade

Near the base of the four sides of the obelisk water jets into the basin below. The low wall around this fine, plain monument is decora...

2 subjects commemorated, 3 creators
Woolwich Boer war memorial

Woolwich Boer war memorial

SE18, Grand Depot Road

{On the front face of the plinth:} To the glory of God Erected by the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the 61st Battery Roy...

War dead | Other war
20 subjects commemorated
Robert Waithman - obelisk

Robert Waithman - obelisk

EC4, Salisbury Court

Originally erected near Waithman's shop in Fleet Street at its junction with Farringdon Street, this obelisk was moved in 1951 to Barthol...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
New Zealand obelisk

New Zealand obelisk

SE10, King William Walk

Made of Cornish granite.  We've photoed the stone chain around the monument.  Lower down is a stone rope with knots at the corners. We l...

War dead | Other war
22 subjects commemorated