fountain gardens

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Fountain Gardens Open Day Video

[/vc_column_text][vc_video ratio=”16-9″ link=””][vc_column_text]Saturday was a great day for Paisley when 1,500 people flocked to Fountain Gardens to see the newly restored Grand Fountain flowing again.

The Fountain, which was bequeathed to the townspeople by the Coats Family in 1868, is one of the world’s finest examples of cast iron sculpture. Its unique design is a Victorian extravaganza that includes walruses, cherubs, dolphins, herons and crocodiles and which measures 8.5 metres in height, has the same circumference and weighs 42 tonnes – before the water is added.

fountain gardens

During the renovation, a team of experts painstakingly removed layers of paint to identify the colours in which the fountain was first revealed. The colours were selected by influential Glasgow artist, Daniel Cottier whose stained glass and colour work enjoyed worldwide acclaim and popularity in the 19th Century.

Emphasising the Fountain’s importance, its restoration was funded by Historic Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Renfrewshire Council.

But on Saturday, it was all about the Grand Fountain itself and its place in the hearts of Paisley’s people. Provost Anne Hall declared the Fountain flowing and a huge cheer erupted as this much-loved landmark sprang back to life.

In the newly-planted Fountain Gardens, residents and visitors of all ages enjoyed a Victorian party with tea and cake, ice cream from a hand cart, a brass band and a special performance from Paisley’s PACE Youth Theatre Group.

While the younger visitors enjoyed the fun, older residents reminisced about having played by (and in) the fountain decades ago and expressed their delight at seeing it flowing again.

More information about the Fountain and its restoration can be found at

Better still, make a visit this great local landmark. The water will flow every day during daylight hours.


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Locals urged to get writing for Paisley’s Grand Fountain

Budding writers are being encouraged to get scribbling for a short-story competition inspired by Paisley’s spectacular Grand Fountain.

The contest is being run as part of the year-long project to restore the A-listed cast-iron fountain to its former glory.

Adults and children of all ages are being asked to write a short story inspired by the fountain – and they have until 4 August to enter the competition, which is being run by Renfrewshire Council and the STAR Project.

Prizes up for grabs include book tokens and the chance for the winning short stories to be published.

The £650,000 Grand Fountain: Interpretation and Restoration Project is being funded by Renfrewshire Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland, and is due for completion in August.

The eight-metre-high fountain dates back to 1868 and was gifted to the town by the Coats family.

It is recognised as being of national importance and is the only one of its kind, distinctive for its intricate detail and statues.

Councillor Terry Kelly, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, said: “The renovation of the Grand Fountain is an exciting project for Paisley and we’re looking for people to get creative and write a special short story inspired by this fantastic structure.

“The Grand Fountain is a living reminder of the town’s proud thread-making past and it’s wonderful to see it be restored for future generations.

“We have recently unveiled ambitious plans to transform Renfrewshire’s future by using the area’s fantastic heritage and culture to drive regeneration and tourism, and keeping structures like the Grand Fountain alive is a big part of that.

“This competition is an opportunity for people to find out about its history and be inspired by its place in Paisley’s built heritage. I’d encourage everyone to get involved and get writing.”

Entries must be no longer than 1,000 words and be submitted with a title and a cover sheet (stating your name, address, email, phone number, story title and age category: four to eleven, 12-16 or 17+/adult) as two separate documents to or in hard copy to STAR Project, 12-14 Wallace Street, Paisley, PA3 2BU.

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Artwork helps put Grand Fountain in the picture.

Paisley’s under-repair Grand Fountain is being put in the picture by community artwork inspired by the project to restore the spectacular A-listed structure to its former glory.

The intricate cast-iron fountain – the centrepiece of the town’s Fountain Gardens – was dismantled and taken away for restoration last year as part of a year-long project to bring it back to life.

The structure – which dates back to 1868 – will be brought back on site and reassembled over the next few months and restored to full working order by the summer.

Alex Slaven 3

And the fencing round the fountain site has been brightened up by artwork themed around the structure’s shape and history, produced by members of a nearby community group.

The STAR Project is based in Wallace Street and offers a wide range of support services – such as counselling and befriending – to residents in the north of Paisley.

The artwork was unveiled at a ceremony attended by local ward councillors, and members of the STAR Project and the Friends of the Fountain Gardens Group, as well as council staff.

Councillor Terry Kelly, convener of the council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, was at the unveiling and said: “Paisley has a built heritage to be proud of and the fountain restoration project will see one of our architectural gems preserved for future generations.

“Having been gifted to the people of the town by the Coats family almost 150 years ago, the fountain still stands as a living reminder of the town’s proud thread-making past.

“One of the great things about this type of project is the opportunity it provides for members of the community to get involved, and learn more about their own town’s history.

“The STAR Project’s members have produced some bright and eye-catching designs and I am glad we were able to put them on display in the park for the public to see.”

The £650,000 Grand Fountain: Interpretation and Restoration Project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.

The next stage of the work will see a state-of-the-art underground pumping system installed to allow the fountain to work again.

The year-long restoration project has featured other community work including an ironworks seminar and an ongoing filming project with UWS.

The eight-metre-high fountain is recognised by Historic Scotland as being of national importance and is the only one of its kind, distinctive for its intricate detail and statues.

Courtesy Renfrewshire Council.