The Famous Leonardtown Wharf Compass Rose

© 2009 Bill Thoen

The compass rose is not only a useful device for the practical navigator, but it's circular simplicity, radial symmetry, and tension between alternately drawing the eye outward along the major points while still maintaining a strong centering focus, attracts artists and poets too.

Since writing Origins of the Compass Rose I receive regular inquiries from landscape architects, builders and homeowners asking if I could help them find plans and artisans to build large compass roses for their yards or development projects. Now I can show you an example! The town of Leonardtown, MD has built a 50-foot diameter compass rose for the park at the town wharf. Below are some photos showing it from design to completion (to see an enlarged view with more detail, just click on the image).

The company that built is PAVERART (Lindenwold, NJ) and doing pavement designs in brick and stone is what they do. So if you're interested in outdoor compass roses and you want to see the real thing, take a trip to Leonardtown, MD and visit their new Public Park where you can see something you don't see every day.

For more about Leonardtown, Maryland see

On the drawing board

Construction on the park begins

Assembly at the brickyard

A longer view

View from the NE

Detail showing the names of the winds (as the Romans reckoned)