What are weathervanes and where can you use them in your home and garden?

With winter coming to an end and the weather warming, your thoughts are likely to be returning to garden maintenance. Your garden is an extension of the home and outdoor spaces, big and small, can be maintained and upgraded to ensure they look and feel the part.

Here at Gap, we design, handcraft and sell a vast range of beautiful UK-made garden products, including stunning garden structures and metal garden arches. Our exclusive collection of weathervanes is also extensive, with the designs featured beautiful additions to outdoor spaces of all sizes and styles.

In this blog post, we provide an introduction to the humble weathervane and explain more about how they can be used in your garden this spring.


What is a weathervane?

Also known as a wind vane, a weathervane is a decorative ornament that has a traditionally very useful purpose.

Commonly found on farmhouses, weathervanes rotate with the elements, with the arrow of the vane pointing into the wind. The direction of the pointer identifies the direction of the wind, i.e. a weathervane pointing north would indicate a north wind.


Are weathervanes and weathercocks the same?

In short, yes, weathercock is an alternative name for the weathervane. The term was coined due to the weathervane’s traditional cockerel design. The rooster design is thought to be popularly used through history due to its shape, which is great for catching the wind.

Modern day weathervanes are available in a vast selection of designs. We stock handmade weathervanes with all themes, including designs sporting leaping fish, boxing hares, playful cats, fishermen, galleon ships, and traditional cockerels.


What’s the history behind the weathervane?

Weathervanes are thought to date back to the first century B.C. It was the ancient Greeks that are attributed with creating the weathervane. The bronze weathervane placed at the top of the Tower of the Winds in Athens is the oldest on record.

Since then weathervanes have been used throughout history, with the Romans also using weathervanes on church domes and steeples. The traditional cockerel design has been popular in Europe and the USA for hundreds of years.


Where should weathervanes be used?

Whilst traditionally used on tall buildings and farmhouses, weathervanes are great for homes and gardens of all sizes and uses. They can be positioned on the roofs of houses, sheds, summer houses and other outbuildings, but should be placed as high as possible to ensure a good passage of wind.

A weathervane should also be positioned with the correct orientation in mind, and you’ll need a compass to get this spot on.


Explore our range of beautiful, custom made, steel weathervanes today.