The ‘Cock o’ the Steeple’ has left its perch for the first time in 37 years for a well deserved makeover!
The restoration and conservation work to the Steeple is progressing well. The contractor Land Engineering are carrying out repairs to the stonework, windows and the clock face. You may have noticed that the clock hands have been removed from the clock while repairs are carried out. Yesterday, a notable milestone was achieved with the removal for restoration of the historic weather vane cockerel.
The Steeple is an important part of Falkirk’s history and the weather vane cockerel has watched over the town from its lofty perch for many years. The weather vane is made of brass and measures 3 feet 4 inches wide by 2 feet 2 inches high. It was taken down for refurbishment work in 1924, which according to one source included ‘gilding’. When the Steeple was hit by lightning on 17th June 1927 the weather vane was flung from the Steeple into the court at the rear of 104 High Street which was then Wilson and Thomson Grocers. Following this the vane was restored and placed back on the top of the Steeple spire. According to some records the vane bears the date 1814 indicating that it is the original weather vane from the current Steeple.1979 was the last time the weather vane left its perch.
The poet Robert Buchanan wrote a series of articles in the 1870s for the Herald called ‘the Cock o’ the Steeple’ in which he addressed the folk of the town and made a number of comments about individuals and events. After some repairs in 1869 he wrote: “Thank ye bairns! I feel kinna firmer on my perch noo, and can turn my neb to a nor’-easter wi’ a feeling o’ security I haena kent for a lang time.”
We currently expect both the internal and external repair works to be completed by December 2016.
To find out more about the Steeple project visit our project page.
To see the full press release click here.