Panel For Historical Engineering Works

Cleopatra's Needle

  • HEW Number:
  • Designers:
    Promoters: Erasmus Wilson, John & Waymann Dixon Container vessel: John Dixon, Benjamin Baker Erection cradle: Benjamin Baker Foundation plinth: G.F. Villiamy Bronze lions by sculptor C.H. Mabey
  • Owner:
  • Built:
    Re-erection 1877/1878
  • Opened:
Significant features

An Ancient Egyptian pink granite obelisk transported from Heliopolis (now Alexandria) in January 1868 and re-erected on Victoria Embankment. Now known as Cleopatra’s Needle the London obelisk was one of a pair Transportation from Egypt necessitated the design and construction of a unique cigar-shaped container vessel. On arrival in London, after an eventful sea journey, a timber cradle incorporating hydraulic jacks and trunnions was erected to enable the obelisk to be rotated into a vertical position on a pre-prepared foundation plinth. In 1880 the companion obelisk was transported to America on an ordinary steamer, dragged overland on iron balls and rollers and erected in Central Park, New York.


  • Last Updated:01/02/2017

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Cleopatra's Needle
  • Place:
    Westminster, London
  • National Grid Ref.:
    TQ 306805
  • County:
  • District Council:
  • SMR Office:
    Greater London
  • Accessibility:
    visible from place of public access

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