This gigantic sculpture by Andy Scott is a celebration of the importance of heavy horse power in central Scotland. His construction of two giant horse’s heads from steel began in June 2013 and took over five months. Each kelpie is about 100 feet (30 m) high and weighs over 300 tonnes.
They are located in Falkirk close to the M9 motorway, creating an imposing gateway to the entrance to the Forth & Clyde Canal. The new canal lock and basin that they frame is the Kelpies Hub.
The sculpture was modelled on two living heavy horses (Clydesdales), but the original “kelpie” was a mythical water spirit which could change its shape to look like a horse. In Celtic legend, kelpies were cunning and dangerous, but Scott’s sculptures seem benign and popular, attracting worldwide media attention.
The Kelpies are a major landmark, visible from miles around, but you need to be close to appreciate their scale and ingenuity. They look even more dramatic in the dark when lit inside and out.
The launch of the Kelpies involved a series of a spectacular audiovisual performances on 17 April 2014, with an audience of 12,000. The site is surrounded by The Helix Park and has 17 miles (27 km) of paths for walking, running and cycling.