A weather vane is a tasteful and eye-catching architectural accent that typically adorns the highest part of a building.
Traditionally, they were a device to indicate wind direction, but they began to be used strictly as decoration as early as the 9th century. They can come in a variety of styles, sizes and materials. Many weathervanes are so ornate that they could qualify as beautiful sculptures, whereas others are simplistic and evoke a sense of quaint charm.
How Weather Vanes Work
The key piece of a weather vane is the central pivoting arrow or pointer. The pointer is usually tapered at one end to provide balance and to catch even light winds. The larger end of the pointer acts as a sort of scoop that catches the wind. Once the pointer turns, the larger end will find a balance and line up with the source of the winds.
Frequently, the cardinal directions North, South, East and West are represented by their first letter to indicate which direction the wind is blowing.
Weather vanes are usually mounted on the tallest point of structures like houses and barns. The reason weather vanes are posted in high locations is to prevent interference and to catch the purest breezes.
Weather Vanes as Sculptures
Almost all weathervanes feature some sort of decoration welded above the arrow. The most common design is a rooster, but ships, horses and other figures are also used. Roosters were traditionally used as the design on church steeple weather vanes to symbolize the apostle Peter.
Some weather vanes do not have an arrow or a decorative element, instead serving as a piece of minimalist art to compliment a roof top.
More complex designs are also used. The historical site of Lord’s Cricket Ground in London features a stylized silhouette of death as “Old Father Time” removing cricket balls from wickets. The historical Carriage House in Haverford, Pennsylvania used an ornate copper and gold griffin as its weather vane. The original was stolen, but a new one was re-cast during renovations.
Nashville Weather Vane Supply and Installation Experts
Many of the local Nashville weather vanes come from our suppliers and network of custom craftsman. Antebellum Roofworks Co Inc can help you find the perfect weather vane to decorate your building as the “crown jewel” of your roofing project. We are also able to put you in touch to have one custom ordered.