Hanging Weathervanes – The Historic Precursor to the Weathervanes We Know Today

Wall mounted hanging weathervanes are a growing trend in weathervanes…

…but the concept is nothing new! While most people think of weathervanes as an architectural ornament typically added to the highest point of a building, it’s history is actually rooted in medieval Britain, Normandy and Germany, with hanging weathervanes being the ORIGINAL weathervane!

The word “vane” actually comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “fane”, meaning “flag”. Originally, fabric pennants would show archers the direction of the wind for shooting. Later, the cloth flags were replaced by metal ones, decorated with the insignia or coat of arms of the lord or nobleman, and balanced to turn in the wind. This is where metal weathervanes first started the transition from functional to decorative!

Archaeologists have discovered weathervanes in all areas of the globe. Vikings used bronze weathervanes from the 9th century featuring animals or Norse fable characters. They have been found on ships and on Scandinavian churches in Sweden and Norway.

In the ninth century A.D., the pope reportedly decreed that every church in Europe should show a cock on its dome or steeple, as a reminder of Jesus’ prophecy that the cock would not crow the morning after the Last Supper, until the disciple Peter had denounced Him three times (Luke 22:34). Because of this story, “weather cocks” have topped church steeples for centuries, both in Europe and in America.

Modern day weathervanes have a special history rooted in early American colonial art. Our founding fathers made weathervanes an estate staple. Thomas Jefferson attached the weathervane on Monticello to a pointer in the ceiling of the room directly below, so he could read the direction of the wind from inside his home. And George Washington commemorated the end of the Revolutionary War by commissioning a “Dove of Peace“ weathervane from Joseph Rakestraw in 1787, for his estate at Mount Vernon.

In the early 1800’s, Americans favored weathervanes in patriotic designs, including the Goddess of Liberty, and of course, the Federal Eagle. By the middle of the century, vanes of famous racing horses like “Black Hawk”, “Smuggler” and “George M. Patchen” were being modeled after the popular Currier and Ives prints. In the last decades of the 19th century, Victorian buildings had fancy weather vanes and elaborate metalwork embellishing almost every inch of roof space.

Weathervanes enjoy a rich world history and are a large part of early Americana art. Whether for function or for art, weathervanes add a unique and refined touch to the modern garden!

The concept of hanging weathervanes, specifically, is great for those who love weathervanes but live somewhere where a “classic” rooftop weathervane is not feasible. I fall into this category, for the most part.. I have a weathervane on an outdoor shed, but my actual house is a little flat roofed 1950’s ranch house that doesn’t provide a great platform for a stately weathervane.

So I was thrilled to add another great Good Directions piece of artwork to my home, as a new “forever decoration” that I look forward to passing on to my children someday.

More About Good Directions

Good Directions offers fresh, unique and classic outdoor living décor from a growing roster of artisans. From weathervanes to birdhouses to fire pits, all of their heavy-gauge, high quality products are designed to last for generations.

From the president of Good Directions:

Outdoor living is booming. Today’s homeowners are bringing the same attention to beautifying their outdoor living spaces as they do their interiors. Good Directions is passionate about providing our customers with unique items that combine stylish form with durable function; elements that meet the high standards of house-proud homeowners. At Good Directions we believe excellent quality and service should be a given. We think you deserve more. We hope you’ll always look to Good Directions for outdoor living products that are unique and innovative.

My Thoughts on my Good Directions Weathervane

This Hanging Blue Heron Copper Weathervane (CLICK HERE to view the product page) was designed by American craftsmen and handcrafted using Old World techniques in sculptural detail. While it lends an air of nautical style to seaside homes, I have found that it blends in perfectly on my front porch where I have crafted a bit of a bird haven.

The decorative wall mounting bracket was insanely easy to hang on the wall of my home by my porch, and we received compliments on it from neighbors before a single day had passed after putting it up! Good Directions never fails to impress with their heirloom quality – there is a reason that these guys have been unsurpassed in style, quality and durability for over 35 years!\

The hanging weathervane features include:

HANDCRAFTED BY GOOD DIRECTIONS ARTISANS – This decorative accent is handmade from Pure Copper and designed by American Artisans.

22 GAUGE PURE COPPER – Made to withstand the elements and last a lifetime. The Pure Copper will age naturally over time.

WELCOME YOUR GUESTS – Ideal for welcoming your guests while providing a glimpse of your personal style.

ENHANCE ANY ENTRANCE OR ROOM – Calls attention to your home, porch, garage, driveway entrance, bar, barn, gazebo, pergola, man cave, game room, or shed. Enjoy the beauty of this weathervane anywhere you desire.

INCLUDES WROUGHT IRON WALL BRACKET – Includes adjustable decorative wall bracket and mounting hardware.

BUILT FOR DURABILITY – Wall Bracket is designed with iron accents and built for durability.

Every aspect of this product is thoughtfully and artfully designed. Good Directions cuts no corners in quality! I am just in love with this weathervane! I am EXTREMELY pleased with the strength and quality of this weathervane, it’s definitely a pass down to the children keepsake / garden heirloom! As I’ve said before, Good Directions does not sell product, they sell art.

Good Directions has an amazing variety of unique and classic design and featuring high-quality craftsmanship. (CLICK HERE to see their full online catalogue of weathervanes in estate, standard and garden sizes!) 

[Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this review. I am an independent product reviewer. I only review products I am truly interested in. I don’t accept payment for reviews. The products I take the time to jabber on about are either items I have personally purchased, or the product has been provided for review after me initiating contact and incessantly nagging for a sample. All of my reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained.]

Gingi Freeman on FacebookGingi Freeman on InstagramGingi Freeman on PinterestGingi Freeman on Twitter
Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

47 thoughts on “Hanging Weathervanes – The Historic Precursor to the Weathervanes We Know Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *