Work starts on the return of the Ross Fountain

The first parts of the renovated Ross Fountain will be returned to the site within West Princes Street Gardens during February, now that the extensive work on the foundations is almost complete.

The much-loved landmark will be completely refurbished and returned to its old location by early summer. The Ross Fountain will be in pristine condition and capable of withstanding the Scottish climate long into the future.

The renovation work which started in July 2017 is being undertaken by The Ross Development Trust as part of their £25M revitalisation of the area in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council.

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convenor for the City of Edinburgh Council, added: “The Ross Fountain has sat in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle since the 18th Century and is one of the most recognisable features of the Gardens. Over the last few months, detailed conservation work has been taking place to restore it to its beautiful, original design. Now, visitors to West Princes Street Gardens will be able to watch as the fountain starts to be rebuilt from the ground up. We are very grateful to The Ross Development Trust for their continued support and look forward to the seeing in back in full this summer.”An artist's impression. Credit: TSPL

Jim Mitchell of Industrial Heritage Consulting Ltd, is the Project Conservation Engineer.  He said: "The Ross is one of three great A- listed fountains in Scotland and in my view the best, both aesthetically and technically. Dismantling has confirmed that the work has been carried out, not a moment too soon, with many potential failures revealed. The made-up ground in the gardens; much of it removed there to fill the old Nor’ Loch, had allowed significant subsidence and stress- fracturing, all of which has been repaired to a standard that sets a benchmark for ironwork conservation. A sophisticated pumping and filtering system has been installed below ground, with the latest non-chemical water treatment included. A low energy, submerged lighting system will show the fountain at its best, day and night. The fountain has been protected by high tech coatings which at the same time, echoes the style of French ornamental work of the period, which emulated verdigris and patinated bronze. I think the people of Edinburgh and beyond, will be impressed!"

David Ellis, Managing Director of the Trust, said: "The view of the Ross Fountain with the castle in the backdrop has become a postcard image of the city.  We therefore prioritised the restoration of this amazing and much-loved monument within the wider revitalisation project. Having successfully dismantled the Fountain piece by piece it was soon apparent that the scale of the damage was beyond what anyone could have predicted. The challenge faced by Lost Art to restore the Fountain was immense. I am delighted to say that they have more than answered that challenge and I am excited to share their work with the people of Edinburgh later this year when the Ross Fountain will be unveiled. Simultaneously to the repair work to the Fountain itself, we have been working to install and repair crucial infrastructure which supports the Fountain to ensure that it remains fully operational in all its glory for generations to come."

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