Anyone who has visited Falkirk has probably seen these guys – the Kelpies. For anyone who isn’t already familiar with them, they are two massive metal statues (the largest equine statues in the world) in the form of the necks and heads of two heavy horses, representing traditional Scottish water spirits. These amazing sculptures, made of stainless steel plates attached to a steel frame, weigh 300 metric tonnes each (that’s 295 old-fashioned UK tons or 331 US tons), stand 30m high (just under 95 feet) and were designed by a chap by the name of Andy Scott.  They are, by any definition, breathtakingly beautiful, grand and amazing.

After wanting to see these stunning creations for years, I finally managed to visit them a couple of years ago. They stand alongside an extension of the Forth and Clyde canal where a turning circle has been made for boats. A few miles away stands the Falkirk wheel. This is another incredible example of construction in metal, although with more of a focus on functionality as it lifts boats through a height of 24m (around 79ft) to connect the Forth and Clyde canal with the Union canal. But I shall return to that another day. Today is all about the Kelpies…

Why do I love these things so much? Well, as anyone who has heard me waxing lyrical on the subject of blacksmithing and other forms of metalwork can probably tell you, I just love things that are made of metal.  I also love beautiful, creative things like these. I believe that large works of public sculpture such as this are important cultural artefacts that bring richness and delight to the lives of the people who see them. And, last but not necessarily least, I like horses.  Taking all those things together, the Kelpies are just a winning combination for me.  If you check out Andy Scott’s website, you’ll find that his other works are equally impressive and beautiful and, since quite a few of them are located here in Scotland, I’m planning on seeing more of them as and when I get the chance.  Hats off to him, he’s very talented and his work is awesome!