Astonishing. Powerful. Mystical. Rising from the ground like the legendary creatures they are, these Kelpies in Falkirk, Scotland fair dominate the landscape.
You would be forgiven for asking what exactly Kelpies are. Well, according to Scottish folklore, a Kelpie is a water spirit that can change its shape into horse, female or water form at will. The Kelpie may appear as a horse next to a loch, river or stream and lure grown-ups and children onto its back, which is coated in a sticky magical substance. Trapped in this way, the rider who would then be dragged beneath the waters to be eaten by the Kelpie.
The Gaelic terms for a colt are ‘cailpeach’ or ‘colpach’, which may have given rise to the name Kelpie. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, heavy horses were hard at work along Scotland’s towpaths pulling barges filled with iron ore, coal and goods. In 2013, two giant heads were commissioned to honour the country’s horse history. At 30 metres high, these horse head sculptures are the largest equine sculptures in the world.