Ross Fountain leaves Princes Street Gardens for first time since 1872
A fountain has been removed from Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh for the first time since it was installed in 1872.
The Ross Fountain will be restored by conservation experts in Wigan before being returned to the garden by spring next year.
David Ellis, managing director of the Ross Development Trust, said: “It’s been here for so long and it’s become a massive part of the city for the last hundred odd years and to see it at the first stage of its restoration process, I’m delighted, and can’t wait to see it back in full working order.”
The £1.5 million project is being spearheaded by the Apex Hotels founder Norman Springford, who is also helping to fund a replacement for the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens. He said: “When you’re dealing with a fountain that’s 145 years old it’s not just a case of giving it a lick of paint. It’s going to be a fairly lengthy process.”
The redevelopment of the Ross Fountain at the heart of Princes Street Gardens is a welcome and long overdue refurbishment of a landmark that should be an Edinburgh icon.
Seven years after the ornate fountain first went dry, efforts are finally under way to restore it to its former glory as part of a wider £25 million revamp of West Princes Street Gardens that will also take in the accompanying bandstand, bankrolled by Apex Hotels chief Norman Springfield.
It marks the first time since 2001 that a refurbishment of the fountain has been attempted and the first time since gunsmith Daniel Ross gifted it to the city in the 19th century it won’t take pride of place in the Gardens.
However, while this is the first tangible sign of the regeneration of the Gardens, the people will vote with their feet on its success.
The fountain has not been an iconic piece of Edinburgh architecture for a long time and a true test of it recapturing some of its previous lustre when it returns next spring will be whether or not it can attract attention from tourists and locals alike.
The fountain is lifted from its plinth ready for renovation