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Tuesday, 15 October, 2002, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
First glimpse of giant pyramid
Solar pyramid
The pyramid is higher than eight double-decker buses
A model of the what is claimed to be the world's largest operational timepiece has been unveiled to the public.

The 40-metre-high landmark is to be built beside the M1 in north Derbyshire.

The scale-model is on display at the Greenwich Royal Observatory in London.

The solar-driven machine will be twice the height of Antony Gormely's Angel of the North.

Standing taller than the height of eight double-decker buses, the Solar Pyramid will be visible to the occupants of more than 45,000 vehicles an hour.

Giant sundial

The sculpture will form the centrepiece of a newly-created country park and visitor centre on a former colliery site at Poolsbrook, near Chesterfield.


We have always wanted to do things which are fairly monumental

Richard Swain

Costing an estimated 1.2m, the project was conceived and designed by architect Richard Swain and artist Adam Walkden, both from Derbyshire.

"It will be like a giant sundial, but it will also give details of the earth's rotation," said Mr Swain.

"We have always wanted to do things which are fairly monumental and are part of the landscape."

Basic science

Funding is being sought from corporate sponsors, trusts and individual donors.

Mr Swain said: "We believe it's fitting that modern art has a usefulness and the Solar Pyramid will teach generations of the future basic science, yet still retain a uniqueness of the art of a particular era."

Construction of the sculpture is due to begin in early 2003 and is expected to be officially opened in June 2003.


Click here to go to Derby

Click here to go to Tyne
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30 Apr 02 | England
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