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

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 29/02/2020 13:54