The Ross Fountain restoration – Edinburgh.

Something I have passed on numerous occasions and not really paid much attention to it. However, each time I pas now, I stop and gawp! The £1.9m renovation of the West Princes Street Garden fountain. The renovation was commissioned by the Ross Development Trust, supported by Edinburgh World Heritage. Work started in July 2017 and is being undertaken by Wigan-based specialists, Lost Art. The project to restore the fountain has been spearheaded by the Apex Hotels founder Norman Springford. The fountain was produced at the iron foundry of Antoine Durenne in Sommevoire, France and was an exhibit at the Great Exhibition of 1862. It was bought by gun maker Daniel Ross (hence the name today) in 1862 for £2,000 and gifted to Edinburgh. It was then transported to Leith in 1869 in 122 pieces and installed in Princes Street Gardens in 1872.

Water was turned off in 2008 and it was closed again from July 2017 for further restoration work undertaken by Lost Art of Wigan on behalf of The Ross Development Trust, costing 1.9 million pounds. On 8 July 2018, it was re-inaugrated by Lord Provost Frank Ross and others, including the Head of Mission at the French Consulate in Edinburgh Emmanuel Cocher. The fountain is now painted in turquoise, brown and gold. According to the organisers, the colours should last for at least 20 years. The fountain has a new pump and will be switched on permanently. Unfortunately the fountain broke down after only 19 days and had to be switched off for four days. Lord Provost (Scottish for Mayor), Frank Ross, said: “It is fantastic to see the statue return. We are very thankful for the support of the Trust and everyone involved in getting the Fountain to this stage, and I am looking forward marking its full completion later in the summer when the water will be switched back on. It will once again be one of the most recognisable – and stunning – features of Princes Street Gardens.”  Water will flow through the fountain again during the summer. The Ross Fountain is now in pristine condition and capable of withstanding the Scottish climate long into the future. Let’s all raise a dram to Mr Ross!

ENDS. Paul McLean, Scottish history numpty from Connel, now Perth.

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