The mermaid in Linlithgow is a sculpture dating back to 1537, when King James V of Scotland commissioned the 16 foot “King’s Fountain“ for Linlithgow Palace. The palace was one of the principal residences for the kings of Scotland in the 15th and 16th centuries. The mermaid is one of the many figures in the fountain.
The palace arranged for the fountain to flow with wine in 1745 in honor of a visit by Bonnie Prince Charlie. Historic Scotland restored the fountain to working order in 2007, and on select days it has water flowing up and out through the large crown at the top of the fountain, then down and out through faces such as the one on the right behind the mermaid in the above photo.
The fountain is a masterpiece of stone masonry. The quality and artistry contributed directly to making Linlithgow Palace one of the favorite residences for the Scottish royalty.
This mermaid is by far the oldest I know of in Scotland. There are a couple other ones that are notable and well known and definitely worth seeing.
Visit this page for the mermaid in Linlithgow for more details and photos.