Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Very Old Weathercock

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started by publishing weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes all across New England.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting. Often, my readers tip me off to some very unique and unusual weather vanes, too! Today's weather vane is from Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weather vane #163? Scroll down to the bottom to see the answer!

Today's weather vane is the rooster 115 feet high atop the steeple of the First Parish Church in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.  This pretty church sits right next to the harbor.  I remember not too long ago the steeple was tilting at a very dangerous angle, and the townspeople held many fund raisers to have it repaired.  This weathercock dates back to 1754, and cost the church members 7 pounds, 10 shillings and 8 pence.

There are several pages about this weathercock in the book Yankee Weathervanes by Myrna Kaye, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co, Inc., 1975 on pages 16 - 19.  Weathercocks are some of the oldest weather vanes in Europe.  According to the legend in the Bible, when St. Peter was told by Jesus that "The cock shall not crow, 'til thou hast denied me thrice".  The cock was also an old symbol of vigilance, alerting the town of the end of night, which is also a symbol of the resurrection.  The rooster and the fish are common weather vanes on old New England churches, as well as the ubiquitous banner.

My aunt and uncle had their wedding here in 1949.  The same uncle had his funeral here in 2005.  Generations of my ALLEN ancestors gathered here with the same church parish for worship in the 1600s and 1700s, although this present building was built in 1809.

The First Parish Church, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts 

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Copyright 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. One of my cousins married at this church in 2004. Manchester is a lovely town center!