By the 9th century weathervanes had made their way to Scandinavia. These weathervanes had a unique shape that involved a 90° arc and were topped with an animal or creature from Norse fables. They were used on Viking ships and Scandinavian churches, and can still be seen in Sweden and Norway today.
The popularity of weathervanes in Europe expanded rapidly in the 9th century, thanks to a papal edict. Rome decreed that every church should have a cockerel (rooster) on its dome or steeple as a reminder of Jesus’ prophecy that the rooster would not crow before Peter had denied Him three times (Luke 22:34). While not originally intended as weathervanes, these cockerels were eventually combined with weathervanes to produce the "weather cock", which is still common today. This transformation is likely because the cockerels, being mounted on the church steeples, were easily visible from anywhere in town, making them the logical choice to act as communal weathervanes.
More modern weathervanes likely get their designs from the banners that flew from medieval towers in Britain, Normandy and Germany. The word “vane” is derived from the Angle-Saxon word “fane,” which means “flag.” These pennants – first made from cloth, then from metal balanced to turn in the wind – were crucial in battle, showing archers the direction of the wind.
Beautiful Weathervanes from Valley Forge Cupolas
Whether you favor the traditional weather cock or a classic banner shape, we have the perfect weathervane for your home. If you don’t wish to place a weathervane on your roof, we also sell floor stands and garden poles so that you can place your weathervane in the yard.
Call us today at 866-400-1776 and add a beautifully sculpted weathervane to your home!