Tributary – John Maine 2005

‘Tributary’ traces the course of the Lort Burn, down Side to the burn’s emergence into the River Tyne next to The Guildhall. Integrated with a new traffic scheme, the sculpture forms a subtle part of the fabric of the street. ‘Subtle’ also means this art work is easy to miss, unless you are looking for it, you might just think it is rather fancy paving, but once the path of the Lort Burn is imagined coming down Dean Street, then the ‘fancy paving’ springs into life. Three stages charting the river are already in place, and a final element is planned for the Quayside.

The Lort Burn was gradually arched over and by 1686 completely culverted in The Side forming a road on top allowing traffic easier access to Groat Market and by 1789 the Lort Burn in Dean Street was not only culverted but its top built up with clay, stone ash and brick rubble to form a broad surface suitable for carriages. A steady gradient from the bridge and waterfront to Grey Street, now topped by the Grey’s Monument, was thus formed.



Lort Burn
Lort Burn

Location: The Side, Quayside, materials used, reclaimed & new granite paving, commissioned by Newcastle City Council