The Fountain
The Stewart Memorial Fountain

The Stewart Memorial Fountain
( 1872, architect: James Sellars )


Gloriously restored in the late 1980s, vandalised to some extent and hopefully to be restored again with the water switched on this time.

According to 'Central Glasgow, an Illustrated Architectural Guide', it is a French Gothic fountain, in the style of William Burges. A work of celebratory sculpture, it is the centrepiece of Kelvingrove Park's eastern limb.

In 1870, 27-year old architect James Sellars beat off seventy-five submissions to win an international competition to produce a monument to the late Lord Provost Robert Stewart, the man deemed most responsible for establishing Glasgow's first permanent supply of fresh water from Loch Katrine. Built in 1871-2 of granite, sandstone, marble and bronze, this flamboyant French-Scottish Gothic structure commemorates the event with abundant imagery of the Trossachs taken from Sir Walter Scott's narrative poem, "The Lady of the Lake." The Lady herself, originally gilt, stands atop the central clustered column. Although very much an early masterpiece of the young Sellars, substantial credit for this gloriously ornate structure must also be given to local sculptors John Mossman and James Young. Their combined artistic talents produced what, as The Building News noted at the time, was "the subject of universal admiration." The years, however, have not been kind to the Stewart Memorial, and after a long period of neglect and disuse, the site was the subject of a major restoration scheme in 1988. After a couple of years of renewed activity, problems with pipework and incessant vandalism led to the closing down of the fountain. At present, its future is sadly unclear.

- thanks to Gordon Urquhart for the additional information from our Heritage Walk page.