A golden opportunity for the 'Dando bird'

April 29 2019
A golden opportunity for the 'Dando bird'

An eighteenth-century weathervane that is a familiar sight on top of a local church has been taken away for a new coat of gold, writes Ros Anstey.

An eighteenth-century weathervane that is a familiar sight on top of a local church has been taken away for a new coat of gold, writes Ros Anstey.

The “Dando Bird” from St Mary’s Church in Compton Dando hadn’t been rotating for some time so some visiting steeplejacks were asked to take a look as they carried out checks on the church’s lightning conductors.

They found that the weathervane, which is in fact a dragon not a bird and was installed in 1757, needed new bearings and re-gilding with gold leaf, a treatment last carried out more than 20 years ago.

The work, which will cost around £1,000, will be funded by the Compton Dando Church Estate Trust, which was established in 1530 by the last prior of Bath Abbey, William Holloway, and lawyer David Brook.

Local historian and one-time chair of the trust Joe Bettey has produced detailed research into the origins of the trust and copies are available by contacting steward Lorna Howarth.