Bulls sculpture celebrates Neilston's heritage

We've unveiled a striking new sculpture of bulls in Neilston.

Neilston bulls

Published 30 October 2023

Located in the town's Pig Square, the steel bull sculptures pay homage to the origins of the Neilston Agricultural show, when a local dispute between two neighbours over who had the best prized bull grew into an annual event that has continued since the early 19th century.

Through the Scottish Government's Town Centre Fund, we commissioned the design, creation and installation of the public art feature. During the design phase, the appointed artist, Ruaraig Maciver from Beltane Studios, consulted with the community to learn about local history and find out what cultural and heritage aspects of the area could be incorporated into the designs.

The installation was supported by Heron Bros who assisted in lifting the sculptures into place and provided the concrete plinth. As part of their Neilston Learning campus contract, they supported a variety of community benefits including twelve jobs, engagement with Neilston primary pupils and equivalent of £12,000 in time and resources to local community causes.

Further plans to restore and improve Pig Square and the surrounding public realm are underway as part of ongoing regeneration work. 

Environment and Housing Convener, Councillor Danny Devlin, said: 'Agriculture has long since played a significant economic role in the area. The Neilston Agricultural Show is an important trading and cultural event for farmers from southwest Scotland each spring, so this fantastic piece of art is a fitting tribute to this heritage.'

Sculptor Ruaraig Maciver added: 'A lovely project to be involved with and a chance for me to study this wonderful animal. Thanks to Alan McClymont at Kirkstead, Yarrow for giving me access to one of his prize Galloway bulls and thanks to Troloss Impeccable for being such a patient model. Biggest thanks to East Renfrewshire Council for giving us this opportunity. I hope the people of Neilston enjoy their new companions.'

Last modified on 17 November 2023