Ross Fountain Princes Street Gardens, Refurbishment, Restoration News

Ross Fountain Restoration

West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland: Renewal Information

2 Feb 2019

Ross Fountain Restoration, West Princes Street Gardens

Ross Fountain Renewal News

Edinburgh engineering company was behind £2m restoration of Princes Street’s Ross Fountain

A small but highly effective Scottish engineering and design company has been behind the recently accomplished restoration and renovation of the dramatic Ross Fountain in West Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.

Ross Fountain Restoration, Princes Street Edinburgh

The technical mastery of Edinburgh and Glasgow-based Applied Engineering Design (AED) underpinned the £2m transformation which was completed in May when the last statue was lowered onto the Victorian monument.

AED was responsible for the planning and building warrant applications as well as the design and civil and structural engineering for the project. It dealt with tunnels, foundations and spaces for the plant which makes the fountain work, as well as the stepped pools, central plinth and details such as waterproofing and site drainage.

Ross Fountain Restoration, Princes Street Edinburgh

The renovation, commissioned by the Ross Development Trust and supported by Edinburgh World Heritage, has brought the cast-iron edifice back to its former glory, with cherubs, mermaids, walrus and lion heads and four female figures representing science, arts, poetry and industry.

While the 122 separate pieces were restored by a Wigan-based specialist, AED planned a new access tunnel and underground plant pace along with new supporting plinths and upstanding walls to hold 100 tons of water as it pours over 60 tons of cast iron.

Tim Hetherington, Director of AED, said: “The Ross Fountain is a remarkable work of art and it was a very complicated project. The fountain is like an iceberg – while it is spectacular to look at up above, there is a great deal more going on down below.”

Ross Fountain Restoration, Princes Street Edinburgh

Mr Hetherington said that AED first became involved with the fountain in 2013 when it was asked to undertake a feasibility study regarding stabilisation. Then in 2016 it was asked to undertake the foundation and technical requirements of the restoration.

The monument, sculpted by Jean Baptiste Jules Klagmann, was cast in a French foundry for the Great Exhibition in London in 1862. It was spotted by Edinburgh gun maker Daniel Ross who bequeathed it to the city.

The project added a new facet to the AED portfolio. Mr Hetherington said: “It was a most unusual, not to say unique project. We certainly now are among the few experts in the country in the intricacies of restoring Victorian fountains.

Ross Fountain Princes Street Edinburgh

“The contractor, Kelsen Technical, performed flawlessly and client Norman Springford, formerly of Apex hotels and the RossFountain Trust, deserves great credit for driving the project forward.”

AED was founded in 2008 and now has offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bath. It has a turnover of £650,000 and employs 10 people. It undertakes most of its detailed design and coordination work in house.

The company serves individuals and businesses in sectors including industry and commerce, sport and education, infrastructure and property maintenance.

Previously on Edinburgh Architecture:

7 Jul 2017

Ross Fountain Renewal

Work has begun to restore Edinburgh’s A-listed Ross Fountain to its former glory

The Ross Fountain, Credit City of Edinburgh Council
photo : City of Edinburgh Council

Ross Fountain Restoration

The Ross Fountain, Edinburgh
photograph from Capital Collections, Credit Alexander Adam Inglis, 1884

Statue of Elsie, Ross Fountain:
Statue of Elsie, Ross Fountain
photo : City of Edinburgh Council

Ross Pavilion Edinburgh site
photograph © Malcolm Reading Consultants / David Springford

Ross Bandstand Edinburgh
aerial view

Ross Bandstand Edinburgh Ross Bandstand
building: photos © Adrian Welch Sep 2006

Image of the existing Ross Bandstand in Princes St Gardens courtesy of make:
Edinburgh Bandstand

Adjacent is Princes Street Shopping and towering over the site to the south is Edinburgh Castle.

Related page: Morris & Steedman Edinburgh Tattoo Venue Proposal, also for this part of Princes St Gardens

Edinburgh Architecture

Scottish Parliament


Scottish Gas Centrica HQ

Comments / photos for the Ross Fountain Restoration, Princes Street Architecture page welcome