The Kelpies 10th anniversary April 2024

the Kelpies, the Helix, Falkirk , Scotland, visit the Kelpies in Falkirk
the Kelpies, the Helix, Falkirk , Scotland, visit the Kelpies in Falkirk, take a private tour of the Kelpies

The Kelpies , towering 30 metre high horse head sculptures located at The Helix in Falkirk, Scotland, are celebrating their tenth anniversary next month. It’s hard to believe they have been around for 10 years now . These magnificent structures, designed by Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, represent both an embodiment of Scotland’s industrial past and mythological heritage but also a testament to modern Scottish art and engineering. Their significance is manifold, spanning cultural, historical, and environmental spheres, making them a special landmark in Scotland and an icon recognized around the world. There will be huge celebration in April . Book your Kelpies tours now

Beginning at 10 am with a host of free events suitable for all the family to enjoy !

Then followed by the very first evening concert to take place on the site, headlined by up-and-coming Scottish singer-songwriter Callum Beattie and the world’s most famous bagpipe band, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who will be performing a set of their groundbreaking ‘Bagrock’, a fusion of traditional Scottish music and rock/pop anthems.

Gates open at 5pm for the evening event, which will be ticketed

After a screening of Walid Salhab’s brilliant time lapse video of the building of the Kelpies and a short anniversary film, the live music will kick off from 7 pm, featuring award winning Scottish artists, a set from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and a fire show from Pyroceltica. The evening will culminate in a 60-minute set from the fast-rising Scottish star, Callum Beattie.

Mythological Significance

The name “Kelpies” refers to mythical water spirits in Scottish folklore, often depicted as strong and powerful horses. These spirits were said to inhabit the lochs and rivers of Scotland, capable of both helping and hindering the efforts of the local people. Scott’s sculptures capture the essence of these beings, embodying the strength and spirit of the Scottish people and their bond with the horse, which played a crucial role in the region’s agricultural and industrial eras.

Industrial and Historical Heritage

The Kelpies are also a nod to Scotland’s rich industrial past, particularly the canal systems that were once vital for the trade and transport of goods during the industrial revolution. Situated near the Forth and Clyde Canal, the sculptures symbolize the workhorses of this era, which were essential in pulling barges and wagons along Scottish canals and roads. A hundred years ago there were over 1000 horses stabled in Falkirk . The Kelpies serve as a monumental tribute to these animals’ contribution to Scotland’s economic growth and industrialisation, linking past to present.

Check out our unique video of the Kelpies

Artistic and Engineering Marvel

From an artistic and engineering perspective, The Kelpies are a marvel. Standing at 100 feet, they are the largest equine sculptures in the world, constructed from a complex steel framework covered in stainless steel plates. This design not only reflects Scott’s visionary artistry but also showcases advanced engineering techniques. The play of light on the metallic surface creates a dynamic appearance at different times of the day, making the sculptures a captivating sight for visitors. The Falkirk Scotland Kelpies are an amazing feat of engineering .

Local Environmental Impact

The Kelpies have significantly impacted the local community and environment. As a major tourist attraction, they have boosted the local economy, drawing visitors from around the globe. This influx has spurred developments in local infrastructure and services, benefiting the wider community. Moreover, their location within The Helix, a parkland project aimed at transforming underused land into a thriving green space, highlights a commitment to environmental sustainability and urban regeneration.

Icon of Scotland

Beyond their physical presence, The Kelpies have become a symbol of traditional Scottish creativity, resilience, and regeneration. They reflect Scotland’s ability to honour its history while looking forward to the future, blending mythology with modernity. As such, The Kelpies are more than just sculptures; they are a landmark that embodies the spirit of Scotland, its people, and its natural beauty.

Celebrating their tenth anniversary, The Kelpies Scotland remind us of the power of public art to inspire, commemorate, and transform. They stand as a testament to human creativity and the enduring bond between nature, history, and community, making them truly special in the hearts of both Scots and visitors from around the world.

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