Conservation of the weathervanes at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

A view of the tower from the nuttery

As part of the Tower Project and taking advantage of having a scaffold, the Sissinghurst weathervanes have been undergoing conservation. They are dated 1837 with MC cut into the flag for the Mann Cornwallis family who owned the property.

The weathervanes are made of copper and wrought iron and have suffered from constant exposure to the elements in their prominent positions at the top of the Tower. Rivets and bolts had corroded, iron elements were rusting, the copper was stained and fragile and the paintwork overall was failing. They also no longer worked as the mechanism had become rusted and degraded.

Sissinghurst weather vane atop the tower
Sissinghurst weather vane atop the tower
Sissinghurst weather vane atop the tower

Conservators from Rupert Harris Studio came on site to remove the weathervanes and assess their condition, and conservation was carried out in their studios in London.

The weathervanes were dismantled and old corroded bolts, rivets and previous repairs were removed. The structure was then conserved using more appropriate materials and corrosion products removed. The weathervanes have been repainted and finally six new stainless steel fixing dowels were supplied to strengthen the structure. The mechanisms allowing the weathervanes to smoothly turn in the wind have been entirely replaced, restoring them to their former purpose.