Equus Altus – Leeds, England - Atlas Obscura

Towering high above shoppers in a busy city center shopping mall is the unusually placed statute of a precariously balanced giant silver horse. At first glance it looks out of place, above three floors of passing shoppers. However the location of this art work is used as a reminder of the importance of the city’s industrial heritage.

Leeds was central to the wool and textile industries and pack horses were used to carry cloth and other goods from place to place. The statue depicts a pack horse laden down with rolls of cloth. Horses at the time were central to the transportation of goods in the area. Ahead of its opening in 2013, Trinity Leeds commissioned Scottish artist Andy Scott to make a sculpture as part of its public arts program.

Scott is best known for his work The Kelpies, the giant horse sculptures at Grangemouth, Scotland. Scott spent 10 months hand-welding small rectangles into the Cleveland packhorse he created, which results in a shimmering effect when you look at the steel sculpture. The horse sculpture is 15 feet (4.5 meters) high and is made of galvanized mild steel. It stands upon a narrow plinth atop a high post. The name “Equus Altus” literally means high horse, and high up is exactly where you’ll find it: suspended approximately 50 feet up in the air in the atrium of Trinity Leeds shopping center.

Know Before You Go

The statue is situated in the Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre, on Briggate. It does have its own car park, the address being: Swinegate, Leeds LS1 4AG

Otherwise, park in any of the city centre car parks and make investigate on foot. 

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May 5, 2021

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