- Kelvingrove Park
- Stewart Memorial Fountain

The Scotland Guide
© David Williams


(1871-72, James Sellars)

This large and ornate fountain stands in a prominent position in Kelvingrove Park. Sculpted by John G. Mossman, it is named after Robert Stewart (1811-66), the Glasgow Lord Provost who was the driving force behind the ambitious plan to bring clean water to the city from Loch Katrine, some 64km (40 miles) away.

This great undertaking was done in the typically confident Victorian style, and the substantial waterworks at Milngavie (to the north of Glasgow) are still in very good condition. This bold scheme had many detractors, however, including a very prophetic warning from Frederick Penny, Professor of Chemistry at the Andersonian University, who claimed that the very pure `soft` water which was being supplied to the city in lead pipes would result in widespread lead poisoning; it took well over a century for this danger to be fully recognised and dealt with by replacing the lead with more inert materials.

The fountain is topped by a tall bronze statue of The Lady of the Lake, the subject of the poem by Sir Walter Scott; Scott`s poem and his other romantic works set in the Trossachs area helped put the loch and the surrounding district firmly on the tourist trail. Below the statue are lions and unicorns holding shields and there are roundels featuring the signs of the zodiac. Various plaques and coats of arms form the other main decorations.

A plaque declares: To commemorate the public services of Robert Stewart of Murdostoun Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow from November 1851 till November 1854 to whose unwearied exertions the citizens are mainly indebted for the abundant water supply from Loch Katrine This fountain was erected 1872.

This article is based on the guidebook "The Glasgow Guide".

The Stewart Memorial Fountain is one of the city`s finest monuments - a fitting tribute to the innauguration of Glasgow`s water supply.

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