Six strange sights from new database of Scottish statues

Scotland has over 1,500 sculptures across the country which are now available to view online.

Six strange sights from new database of Scottish statues compiled in online catalogue by Art UK Gordon Baird / Art UK

More than 13,000 works of public art have been catalogued in the first ever photographic database.

Charity ArtUK has compiled the online catalogue which showcases all of the nations public sculptures which are now available to view for free online.

In Scotland alone there are over 1,500 artworks stretching from the Highlands to the Borders, including some of the most important collections in the UK.

Here are some of the strangest sights you can view across the country.

Worlds of Words and Wonders

Worlds of Words and Wonders (Pic:Shetland Islands Council)

At Shetland Library, visitors will find an outdoor sculpture in the form of books on a stone plinth.

The artwork was created in 2004 by Yvonne Halfen, Jannie Benthem and Andrew Graham.

Old Mortality

Old Mortality (Pic: The Museum, Newton Stewart)

At the museum in Newton Stewart, visitors will find the peculiar sculpture Old Mortality resting on the ground which was created by John Currie.

Old Mortality was the nickname of Robert Paterson, a stonemason who took it upon himself to travel around lowland Scotland carving inscriptions for the unmarked graves of covenanters, martyred in the seventeenth century and is the subject of a novel by Sir Walter Scott.

Spring Well

Spring Well (Pic: Dewi Owens)

In Mangersta on the Isle of Lewis is Spring Well – a life-size bronze human right arm protruding from the grassy bank at the roadside, created by Simant Bostock and John Norgrove.

Water flows from an underground spring through the arm and into a green glass wine bottle grasped in the hand which continuously pours water. There may have originally been a metal bucket to catch the pouring water, but this is now lost.


Elephant (Pic: David Oudney)

Created by garden landscaping company WoodBlocX and standing in the University of Dundee Botanic Gardens is a magnificant elephant standing at over 6ft tall.

Star Pyramid

Star Pyramid (Pic: Gordon Baird)

Created in 1863 by William Barclay in Castle Court, Stirling is the Star Pyramid, which is dedicated to all who suffered martyrdom in the cause of civil and religious liberty in Scotland.

The pyramid is enclosed by wrought iron railings, with stone steps to the south flanked by two stone globes and bible and confession of faith were sealed into an inner chamber in the pyramid.

The Pithy Mary Pond lies to the west of the Star Pyramid with bridge of cast iron work, including later repair work and a grassed slope beyond to the west with a lawn and deliberately placed rocks.

The sarcophagus of William Drummond, a land surveyor and nurseryman who commissioned Barclay to create the pyramid is located close by.

Mosaic Television and Sofas

 Mosaic Television and Sofas (Pic: Dewi Owens)

Located in Lochinver are larger than life-size ceramic mosaic sculptures of a television set, a sofa and an armchair, created by John Mackay and Eric Marwick.

The television depicts the moment Gordon McQueen scored for Scotland on June 4, 1977 at Wembley, when Scotland beat England 2-1 to win the British Home championship.

The scene shows the players, crowd, a streaker and a photographer. The television itself sits on a rectangular base. There are some missing tiles on the television. The sofa and armchair are covered with a mosaic of pieces of broken Highland Stoneware ceramics and include bird and fish designs.

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