Giant Horse Head Sculptures Tower over Scottish Skyline

The Kelpies, 30-meter (almost 100 ft) high sculptures by Scottish artist Andrew Scott, stand next to the Forth and Clyde Canal in Falkirk, Scotland.


The artist is known for his distinctive models in steel – many of which are horses. The Kelpies are mythical aquatic Celtic horses but that legend is only a starting point – the artist says the work is more of a tribute to the modern work horse that built this part of Scotland, towing barges up and down these canals. At 300 tonnes (that’s right, and that’s over 650,000 lbs) and made of stainless steel, these pieces aren’t going anywhere fast (they were actually constructed on-site). Scott first built 1:10 scale models – called maquettes – which have been on display at different museums across Scotland and as far afield as Chicago. (And those miniature representations — only 10 ft high — will be on display in Bryant Park New York in Spring, 2014.) The giant steel horses were modeled after two working Clydesdales from Glasgow City Council stables. When the sculptures are illuminated at night, they look like two magnificent chess pieces against the horizon. As The Guardian wrote of The Kelpies, “They will create one of the most dramatic gateways through which to enter Britain”. We think they’re right.


The Kelpies are over 100 feet tall and weigh over 650,000 pounds.


Two working Clydesdales, from Glasgow City Council, were used as models.


All construction was done on site.


The Kelpies were constructed in less than six months, but the steel fabrication took two years.


More information: Andy Scott

Written by Beverley Wood

Beverley Wood has lived on boats in Toronto and Vancouver and in an old hacienda in Mexico. She knows funky when she sees it. She's been writing since she was old enough to pick up a pen and has never shied away from the unusual or the whimsical. Her love of the unique (and sometimes bizarre) led her to Captivatist.