The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures, standing next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal, and near River Carron, in The Helix, a new parkland project built to connect 16 communities in the Falkirk Council Area, Scotland. The sculptures were designed by sculptor Andy Scott and were completed in October 2013. The sculptures form a gateway at the eastern entrance to the Forth and Clyde canal, and the new canal extension built as part of The Helix land transformation project. The Kelpies are a monument to horse powered heritage across Scotland.
They borrow their names from mythological horses which haunt lochs and rivers in Celtic legend. Kelpies were said to be able to transform into beautiful women to ensnare travellers. The massive sculptures, designed by Glaswegian Andy Scott, pay tribute to the working horses which once fired Scotland’s economic prosperity by dragging industrial barges along the extensive network of canals.
Built of structural steel with a stainless steel cladding, The Kelpies are 30 metres high and weigh 300 tonnes each. Construction began in June 2013, and was complete by October 2013. However the process of fabricating the steel was several years in the making. SH Structures, in Yorkshire, carried out this fabrication and also managed the erection of the sculptures on site.