This page is about some curious church weather vanes and their story.
The church at Great Ponton in Lincolnshire has an unusual weathervane – it is in the shape of a ‘violin’. In the 17th century the parishioners were so impressed by the talents of a local fiddler that they collected his fare to enable him to go to America to study the violin. He made his fortune and in gratitude provided the wrought iron fiddle shaped vane for the church.
Meanwhile the weathervane on the church tower at Kingsclere in Hampshire is rather more unusual – it depicts a ‘bed bug’! Back in the 12th century, King John had occasion to spend the night at the local Crown Inn and was severely bitten by bed bugs. The story goes that as a result of this unfortunate experience, the King ordered that an effigy of a bed bug be displayed on the church tower. And so, a rather regal bed bug weathervane is to be seen on the church tower.
On the other hand a fish is the subject of the weathervane in the small village of Flookburgh in Cumbria nestling on the northern edge of Morecambe Bay. It depicts a ‘flounder’, known locally as a ‘flook’, still caught in these parts and giving its name to the village.
A more conventional weather vane on the church tower at Hinkley in Leicestershire is a fine cockerel which dates back some 200 years. In 1993 a headline appeared in the local paper entitled “Sorry Cock”. At the time the church steeple was being renovated and somebody took advantage of scaffolding to steal the said weather vane. The vicar appealed for its return in the press and early one morning he found the weather vane on his doorstep and it had been newly painted. There was also a note of apology telling that it was all the result of a drunken prank !!.
The village of Nefyn is on the north west coast the Llyn Peninsular in North Wales, where the sea has long been an important part of the local economy.
The old parish church with a fine sailing boat weathervane is now a maritime museum.
Between 1788 and 1862 an unusual weather vane graced the top of the spire of St Peter’s church at Hereford in the shape of a huge key, a symbol of St Peter. The vane was removed in 1862 during George Gilbert Scott’s renovations and is now preserved inside the church.