The Kelpies become the front runner as the largest public work of art in Scotland

One of Scotland’s largest visitor attractions, The Kelpies stand proud on the banks of the Forth & Clyde canal near Falkirk, with Angle Ring playing a key part in the production of the two 30m high horses heads that elegantly break out of the ground in the 350 hectare parkland in the central lowland region.

Designed as part of the Helix Project that transformed the landscape to create a vibrant park and visitor hotspot, the £41m project that opened in 2013 boasts 300 tonnes of intricate steelwork as it becomes the largest public work of art in Scotland.

There are no straight lines anywhere in the Kelpies and the structures house 928 steel plates and over 34,000 individual components, many of which were pressed and curved to the required shapes at Angle Ring’s impressive steel bending facility in Tipton, West Midlands.

This included 323.9 od x 10mm and 273.1 od x 10mm Circular Hollow Section (CHS) in S355 grade material for the primary structures, and 139.7 od x 5mm CHS on the secondary structure, in addition to a range of 20mm thick plate in S355J2 material.

Produced using our cold rolling and induction bending techniques a range of tubular and pipe sections were processed, with larger pipes going through an 800°c hot bending process as they were bent in small sections across the entire length.

Plate rolling and press braking techniques were used to bend the flat plate used on the eyes and ears into the correct shapes.

The Kelpies attract over one million visitors each year and is the most photographed attraction in Scotland, something we’re proud to have been involved in at Angle Ring and a project we love to revisit.

Project facts

Architect: Andy Scott

Structural Engineers: Atkins, SKM

Steelwork Contractor: SH Structures

Steel Bending Engineers: Angle Ring Company

Client: The Helix Trust

Location: Falkirk, Scotland

Angle Ring scope of work

Processes involved:

For further information about the project, please contact Angle Ring on 0121 557 7241 or

Watch the documentary of how the Kelpies were produced here (see 34 minutes in for Angle Ring’s processes)

© Photo courtesy of SH Structures
© Photo courtesy of SH Structures
© Photo courtesy of SH Structures

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