The 5 best Glasgow Fountains
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Civilizations built fountains throughout history, alternating between using them as suppliers of precious drinking water, and as decoration in public and private places.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, during the Victorian era, both uses were combined. This is noticeable in many of the fountains that we enjoy today in Glasgow.

The Loch Katrine waterworks were opened in 1859, providing Glasgow with a supply of 230 million of healthy, clean water litres per day. This marked the beginning of a fountains building race, when the Council and Victorian philanthropics regarded fountains and the supply of public drinking water not only as a public health priority, but also as elements of beauty and opportunities for memorial.

Nowadays, with quality drinking water available in every home and many shops, fountains are vital parts of our local architecture and spectacular sculptural elements of our city.

This fountain was designed by the architect Arthur Edward Pearce for the 1888 Glasgow Exhibition in Kelvingrove Park to commemorate Queen Victoria´s Golden Jubilee of 1887, and was moved to the Green Park in 1890.

It includes people from Australia, South Africa, India and Canada representing the British Empire. It also is decorated with Scottish, Welsh and English soldiers, a sailor and the Queen.

At 46′ high and 70′ across at the base, it is the largest terracotta fountain in the world, the best surviving example of its kind, and an A listed building. In 2002 a restoration programme restored the fountain.

Pin  Largest terracotta fountain in the world.

Visit Grand Fountain

GRAND FOUNTAIN | 2017/18 Glasgow Fountain Silver Winner

This fountain was opened in May 1868 in the oldest public gardens in Paisley. It was built by the George Smith Company of the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, and painted by the stained-glass artist Daniel Cottier.

It is made in cast-iron and is 28´ (8.5 meters) high. Its features include life size walruses, crocodiles, dolphins, herons, cherubs and it is one of only four category A listed fountains in Scotland.

The Grand fountain was run down some years ago, but a £650,000 successful restoration project took place in 2013-14 to restore the fountain to its former glory.

Pin  Cast Iron.

Admire Stewart Memorial Fountain

STEWART MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN | 2017/18 Glasgow Fountain Bronze Winner

Kelvingrove Park contains this monument built to commemorate the late Lord Provost Robert Stewart (1851–1854), deemed the most responsible person for establishing Glasgow’s first permanent supply of fresh water from Loch Katrine.

The fountain was built in 1872 by James Sellars. It is built of granite, sandstone, marble and bronze, and is topped by a figure of Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake. Below the statue there are lions, unicorns, shields, signs of the zodiac and coats of arms.

Restored in the late 1980s and 2009, it´s an A-listed building.

Pin  Lord Provost Robert Stewart.

Discover Saracen Cast Iron Fountain

SARACEN CAST IRON FOUNTAIN | 2017/18 Glasgow Fountain Fourth Winner

Discover Saracen Cast Iron Fountain

Commissioned from D W Stevenson, the A-listed Saracen Fountain in Alexandra Park was sculpted in 1901 by David Watson Stevenson. The foundry was Walter Macfarlane & Co.

The fountain was exhibited on the grounds of the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition at Kelvingrove Park and Kelvin Hall. It remained there until 1914, when it was gifted to the City and the Glasgow Corporation took the decision to resite it to its present location in the park.

It is 40 foot high (12 metres), and has been painted in gold and black colours since its restoration in 2000. The fountain shows four seated classic maidens representing Literature, Science, Art and Commerce. They are flanked by seashells, lion masks, reliefs of the signs of the Zodiac, cherubs and dolphins.

Pin  Glasgow International Exhibition at Kelvingrove Park in 1901.

See the Cruickshank Drinking Fountain

CRUICKSHANK FOUNTAIN | 2017/18 Glasgow Fountain Fifth Winner

The former Cruikshank drinking Fountain was built in 1880 by the Cruikshank & Co Ltd foundry, and takes pride of being placed at the main entrance of Alexandra Park.

It is topped by a cherub, and enclosed in a canopy consisting of an ornate dome supported by four slender stanchions. The complete assembly consists of 20 separate castings.

This B-listed cast iron structure was fully restored as part of an extensive scheme of work with a £225,000 cost.

Pin  1880.

The Saracen Fountain was the principal exhibit at the 1901 International Exhibition at Kelvingrove. It was relocated to Alexandra Park in 1914. Although it is currently painted gold and black, the original colours were gold and a spectacular blue.


Glasgow Fountains

Cool Facts

The Quote

Be like the fountain that overflows, not like the cistern that merely contains.

Paulo Coelho. Brazilian lyricist and novelist (1947-).


Greatest Glasgow Awards

Technical Criteria

Research led by SUZANNAH HENDERSON ׀
Date of the Research: 18-29 NOVEMBER 2018 ׀
Publication date: 30 NOVEMBER 2018
Review date: 30 NOVEMBER 2019

Scope of the research & essential inclusion criteria:
The fountain is still placed in a public place in Glasgow.
Premium+ criteria:

1 Long-Standing.
2 Water is clear.
3 Condition of the structure.
4 Ornamental complexity.

5 Condition of the statues and decoration.
6 Running water jets.
7 Condition of the surroundings.

Premium Validation criteria:


8 Friendly surroundings.
9 Category A, B or C listed building.
10 Key element within its surroundings.
11 Fountain and its surroundings are clean.

12 Beauty of the ornaments.
13 Difficulty of being seen at day and night.
14 True to its origins.
15 Other features.

Additional information about the VPP+ process:     VPP+