Lewes Weathervane Restoration
An historic weathervane has been reinstalled on an ancient church tower after careful repair and restoration. The 1756 structure is a focal point in the Cliffe area of Lewes and has been carefully overhauled by PMF Metalwork of Newhaven as part of the parish church’s current £30,000 renovation project.
“It is lovely to see the weathervane back in place and looking so good”, said churchwarden of St Thomas a Becket, Trevor Butler. “We are enormously grateful to all concerned: to the church architect Andrew Goodwin of Mackellar Schwerdt, project management by Andrew Rainford of Profurb Construction, and to the team at PMF for all the work to make this a reality.”
The weathervane had suffered badly from the a continual battering by the elements, and parts were in danger of disintegration. A five-week project has seen it restored to new after extensive work by specialist craftsmen. The first weathervane to adorn the church tower was a gilded affair with the date and initials TSE, placed on the tower in 1620. There is nothing in the church records to indicate who TSE was. Churchwardens at the time were Edward Claggett and Henry Hale. That vane is now at the Wharf Brewery, a little way down Cliffe High Street which was sold to Harvey’s for 4s 2d.
The weathervane on the church tower today is thanks to churchwardens Arnold Tasker and Thomas Baldy, with the date of 1756 in it sunburst tail. These two Wardens were in office continuously for seventeen years. During this time they arranged new pews, new altar piece and a replacement weathervane bearing their initials. A Weathervane Account was opened to which 29 parishioners contributed a shilling each to pay for the new vane which cost £3 5s with a Mr Pratt charging 4s 6d for putting it on the church tower.