106-year-old wind indicator at Lindisfarne Castle is repaired

A century-old wind indicator at Lindisfarne Castle has been fixed by engineers.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 11:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 2:18 pm
The ornate wind indicator at Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The panel, in the castle’s entrance hall, had not been working since it was put back in place in January following restoration work at the National Trust property.

The wind indicator, first installed in 1913, is an oil painting of Holy Island and the coastline, of the defeat of the Spanish Armada and St Cuthbert churning out beads with his hammer and anvil.

It is made of three wooden boards held together with iron straps and hung on the wall.

The wind dial at the centre is served by a brass pointer, which is in turn connects to rods and cogs which snake their way back into the wall, up the chimney, through the East Bedroom floorboards and skirting and finally connect with the wind vane on the roof.

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Last month, engineers from the National Trust's property at Cragside visited to clean and lubricate the mechanism.

First, staff had the tricky task of getting the panel off the wall, then lifted floorboards in the East Bedroom to provide access to the mid-point of the mechanism and, finally, to the roof to calibrate the wind indicator.

House steward Nick Lewis, writing in the Island newsletter, said: "We did discover there may be a problem with the rod heading to the roof in that it might be taking unnecessary weight which has caused it to bow - every rotation you can hear and feel it scratching the back of the wall - no wonder folk used to think the East Bedroom was haunted!"