A Tale of Water Spirits, Shire Horses and Stainless Steel



This giant, metal nose belongs to one of the world’s largest equine sculptures – the Kelpies, two huge statues that stand on the Forth and Clyde Canal in Central Scotland.


These two massive horse heads, designed by sculptor Andy Scott, stand 30 metres tall and are the largest public art work in Scotland.


I had been wanting to see them for ages, so on a wet, wild and windy December day I hid my camera under my coat, donned hat and gloves and made a dash from the car park.  It really was the bleakest of days, but these incredible sculptures did not disappoint.  It is hard to believe that what was an intricate engineering project, has resulted in such beauty.


The surface is created from hundreds of stainless steel plates, mounted on to an internal structural steel skeleton; the horses’ manes are made of overlapping slabs of steel.  If you go to the Kelpies website you can see videos of their construction and many more pictures, including aerial views.

Kelpie is the name given to a shape-shifting water spirit inhabiting the waters of Scotland. They are often referred to as having the appearance of a horse that can adopt human form.  The artist of these two giants has been influenced by the heavy horses that were such an important part of Scottish industrial history.   In fact the models for the sculptures were two Clydesdales owned by Glasgow City Council.

The pair of horses stand right on the banks of the canal and you can walk from here to another incredible engineering feat, the Falkirk Wheel.  I have to return in better weather to make that walk, and I also need to return at night as the sculptures are illuminated inside and out and must be a marvel to behold in the dark.



The Challenge (now closed)

Welcome to week 73 and a huge thank you to all who participated last week.  My pick this week is Lady Lee Manila’s post about Santorini, one of my favourite places in the world.  Do pop over and take a look, especially if you haven’t been there yourself.

All are welcome to join this challenge; do please share your up or down perspective with us.  Simply create your own post as normal, create a link to this challenge and click above to enter your link and view other entries.  If you have any difficulties with the linky, please just leave your link in a comment below and I will upload your thumbnail.

Finally, please don’t forget to go and visit the other challengers and pass on your views and encouragement.

30 thoughts on “A Tale of Water Spirits, Shire Horses and Stainless Steel

  1. That’s it! I’m resolved to go and see them! I’ve been meaning to do the Falkirk Wheel and that neck of the woods for years… I wondered what on earth you were showing us with the first shot! They are fabulous! Off to check out the website. 🙂


    1. They are brilliant and the Wheel is amazing. I’m definitely heading back to do the walk and to go on the wheel! My photos of the wheel are rain spattered so I may not post those. I was there just before Christmas and the boats were full of Santas and children so I decided a return visit was in order…

      Sent from my iPhone


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Debbie – I am curious to see what they look like lit up – but your pics here show the gorgeous -ness of these cool (and large) art works. Go scotland! and the gloomy sky actually adds interest – nice to look up to….


    1. I’m surprised the pictures came out so well given the heavy rain.

      I’ll share pictures of the illuminated horses when I manage to get there. In the meantime you can click on the Kelpies link and admire the shots there!

      Liked by 1 person

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