Loved and loathed – the armoured knights of the National Grid | Art and design | The Guardian

Skeletal giants, armoured knights of the National Grid, a regiment of electricity pylons has marched across our landscapes for the past 80 years. There are those who find these many-armed steel masts daunting, brutal and even loathsome.

There are those who campaign for high-voltage electricity cables to be buried underground, at great cost, wherever possible. There are others, like Stephen Spender who went so far as to write a – dreadful – poem about them: “Pylons, those pillars/Bare like nude, giant girls that/have no secret.” Today, there is even a Pylon Appreciation Society, such is the mix of awe and fascination these divisive structures have on our collective imagination.