Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NS 48049 64577
248049, 664577


G Smith and Co iron founders 1868. Ornate multi-tiered and coloured cast-iron fountain in ornate classical style decorated with putti and walrus heads. Surrounded by circular basin containing 4 full-size walruses. Perimeter of mock rocks.

Statement of Special Interest

This elaborate and idiosyncratic fountain, forms the centrepiece to Fountain Gardens. It incorporates a wealth of decorative detail. The unusual addition of full-sized, accurately modelled walruses and the surrounding cast iron rocks, complete with barnacles, makes it a unique structure. Fountain Gardens are situated on the site of previous Gardens. These, the Love Street Gardens, had fallen into general disuse and the land was bought in 1866 by Thomas Coats of Ferguslie. He bought the gardens with the intention of altering and improving them and then handing them over for the community to use as a 'place of healthful recreation and resort'. Thomas Coats used the Glasgow landscape architect, James Niven, as designer and allowed him to do whatever he wished, with no thought to the expense. In the event, the gardens were laid out to a geometric pattern, with broad, leafy walks all of which led to the decorative fountain at the centre. The fountain is described in detail in The Builder of June 27th 1868.

Thomas Coats gave the gardens to Paisley Town Council in 1868, with a gift of £5000 for their upkeep. Other elaborate iron work, all by the same foundry, was incorporated into the park, including lamps, gates, railings, seats and drinking fountains, but the fountain is one of the few pieces to remain.

Scotland had a thriving, productive ironfounding industry in the latter half of the 19th century, exporting work to other countries, including Brazil, India and South Africa. The Sun iron foundry of George Smith and Co Ltd, Glasgow was founded in 1858 and was one of the most significant and productive. It closed in 1899 and large scale works from the foundry are uncommon. This is therefore a virtuoso piece, showing the scale and complexity of what could be achieved. Upgraded from B to A, 8/6/06.



R Brown, HISTORY OF PAISLEY 1896. Vol 2, P383 cost of Gardens $15,000.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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Printed: 18/02/2019 00:10