The Ross Fountain stands
below the castle at the west end of Princes Street Gardens. It was
operational in 1872 and was a gift to the city from Daniel Ross, a local
gun-maker. He bought it at the International Exhibition of 1862 in London.
Made of cast-iron in Paris it was sculpted by Jean-Baptiste Klagmann.
At the top a figure holding a cornucopia, below that four figures
depicting Art, Science, Poetry and Industry. On the bottom tier lion's
head spouts and mermaids.
Not everybody was happy with it. Dean Ramsay, the incumbent for 40 years
of St John's Episcopal church which looks down on the fountain, described
it as 'Grossly indecent and disgusting; insulting and offensive to the
moral feelings of the community and disgraceful to the City'. Other
Edinburgh burghers may well have shared his feelings. He did not have to
live with it for very long, he died in 1872 at the age of 79.