The Kelpies are two giant horses head sculptures that are both incredible and amazing in design. They have become something of a sensation and brought huge numbers of visitors to the otherwise little known Scottish town of Falkirk. Standing around 100 feet high these structures are clad with 990 stainless steel plates. This unique architectural monument is the work of Andy Scott, the Scottish sculptor known for his work with metals and fibreglass.
Scott graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1986 with a BA Hons, in Fine Art Sculpture. He specialises in ‘public art’ and his other sculpture the ‘Heavy Horse’ can be seen at the side of the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The Kelpies’ 1600-tonne foundations were started in early 2013 and a team of engineers and specialists at the premises of SH Structures, at Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, have been at the centre of the project. Each Kelpie weighs around 300-tonnes, contains 3,000 metres of steel tubing and 17,000 components. This monument, believed to be the largest of its kind in the world and paying homage to working horses in Scotland, cost around £5 million to build. Construction of the Kelpies took around five months to complete. However, the project in its entirety, right from the planning stage through to the making and finishing, was years in production.
The project has been such an amazing achievement that Andy Scott, has written a book about it called ‘The Kelpies’: ‘The Making of the World’s Largest Equine Sculptures.’ Andy Scott was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Civil & Environmental Engineering by Strathclyde University, in recognition of his role in the artwork’s creation and his contribution to public art in Scotland. He also received an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
The Kelpies have proved a major tourist attraction and in the first six months of it opening over 650,000 visitors went to see them. Many accolades have been afforded to them including: the UK National Structural Steel Award, Saltire Award for Civil Engineering and a National Treasure Award by the UK Lottery.
The Kelpies have featured in many media and TV programmes, magazines and advertising campaigns all around the world.
This is a new attraction which opened in 2014, in Helix Park, Falkirk, near the M9 motorway. The park is open 24hrs a day and offers a number of attractions and facilities for people of all ages. It is an award winning location and has won the – National Green Apple Environment Award. The Kelpies are open for viewing at all times but tours are only available at specific times and ticket prices are available on the Helix website.
For anyone visiting Falkirk, this is an attraction not to be missed. Its uniqueness and the wonderment of the work and architecture and engineering that has gone in to the planning and design of this truly, amazing work of art, will stun and delight both adults and children alike. For those visitors that enjoy photography the Kelpies lit up at night will provide some amazing atmospheric pictures.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Scone Palace Caravan Park, Stormontfield Road, Scone
Tayside, Scotland, PH2 6BB
+44 (0)1738 552 323
- Address: A9 / Falkirk Rd, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom, FK2 9EE
- GPS: 56.0054587,-3.7538700000000062
- Part of UK: Scotland
- Sat Nav Postcode: FK2 9EE
- Entrance Fees: Free Access
- Disabled Access: Good
- Visibility from Road: Good
- Image Credits: Roy Henderson