£1.9m revamp of historic Ross Fountain takes major step forward

The Quatrefoil shaped bowl was first to be lifted into position yesterday morning.
The Quatrefoil shaped bowl was first to be lifted into position yesterday morning.
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Another milestone in the restoration of the Ross Fountain has been reached, with the return of the structure’s four upper bowls.

A crane dropped the features into place yesterday morning, with the West Princes Street Gardens landmark’s major revamp nearing its end.

The reconstruction is a delicate operation with the four sections that make up the quatrefoil-shaped bowl weighing two tons each.

Each bowls is capable of holding up to two tonnes of water at a time.

The design of the bowl has water spouting from the golden masks adorning the outer wall and down the fountain.

Return of the fountain’s bowls means the £1.9 restoration has officially passed the half-way mark.

Apex Hotel founder Norman Springford’s Ross Development Trust, the body which is overseeing the project, pledged to restore the fountain as part of a wider regeneration of the Gardens.

Since last summer it has been under the care of Wigan-based specialists Lost Art Ltd, who have been busy repairing, cleaning and repainting its 122 pieces.

Unveiling of the revamped A-listed fountain, which boasts a brand new colour scheme, is expected to take place this June/July.

Final cost estimates for the fountain’s restoration are reported to be around £1.9, which is £300k-£400k up from initial projections.

The cost is being met by the Ross Development Trust, Edinburgh World Heritage and a number of private backers.

The Parisian-forged fountain was installed in West Princes Street Gardens in 1872, a decade after local gun-maker Daniel Ross spotted it at the London International Exhibition.

In an act of philanthropy, Mr Ross purchased the fountain and gifted it to the city of Edinburgh. However, he died before it was made fully operational.