17th April 2014

The Kelpies are unveiled

The Kelpies are a pair of 30-metre-tall horse heads sited between Grangemouth and Falkirk. They form part of the Helix Park, which sits beside the Forth and Clyde Canal. The park includes a performance area, sports facilities, and walkways, as well as the iconic sculptures.


The redevelopment was part funded by a £25 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, announced in 2007 as part of its Living Landmarks programme. The aim was to transform 300 hectares of urban scrubland through the planting of quarter of a million trees, the laying of 34 kilometres of paths and cycle paths and the digging of a new section of canal as well as the commissioning of the sculptures.

Legendary water spirits

The Kelpies were designed by equine sculptor Andy Scott, who based them on legendary water-based spirits to produce the largest equine sculptures in the world. They also pay homage to the breed of heavy horses that were used in industry in the Falkirk area and across much of Scotland. The sculptures were constructed on site using 600 tonnes of structural steel, held together by 10,000 fixings. The interior of the structures was designed to allow public access during supervised tours.

Helix Park opened on 14 September 2013 in an event attended by close to 20,000 visitors, during which the Kelpies were still under construction. They were finished in time for Queen Elizabeth II to officially open the Kelpies Hub on 21 April 2014 as part of the canal’s extension.

The nearby Falkirk Wheel was built as part of the same regeneration project.



Other events that occured in April

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