The next time you are out and about, try something different – try looking UP.

Some of the most fantastic architecture and art works are situated at the top of buildings where people, unless they are looking, walk by oblivious to the treasures resting above them.

My church (the former Barony St. John Church in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire) is no different.

Yes, it has magnificent spires, parapets and a steeple which seem to transform this wonderful building into something resembling a rocket about to take off – but at it’s peak, it has a superbly unique weathervane.

boatOnce again, my interest was piqued and I began to wonder if there was anything written about this beautiful model ship – and I soon found an article, first published in the local Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald on the 7th August 1885, which revealed all;

“The model ship presented by A D Bryce-Douglas esquire has this week been successfully placed on the steeple of the new Parish Church, Ardrossan. The old stone courses at the top of the steeple were taken down a distance of nine feet, the old rod taken out and a new rod two inches thick by twenty feet long inserted. From the top of the base stone to the deck of the ship is eleven feet and the rod rises seven feet clear of the topmost point of the steeple, the indicators north, south, east and west being midway between that and the ship. The work is being done by Mr John Boyd, mason, Mr Robert Barbour junior, joiner, the steeplejack in this instance being Mr John Mellon, joiner, Vernon Street, Saltcoats who has done several jobs of this sort in Paisley and elsewhere. The ship is four feet eight inches long by eight inches broad of beam, three feet intervening between keel and the truck on main topmast. The hull and rigging are of copper, yards of brass and she is steered by “double spankers” or main sheets.”

The most startling facts you can derive from this article is that it is 11ft from the top of the base stone to deck of the ship…..11ft??? Boy things look a lot smaller from ground level! Who would have thought the rod was that long?

Another startling fact is that the ship itself is almost 5ft long…..that’s massive!

So next time you are passing by the church, or just out and about in your town or city, LOOK UP – you may be surprised – you may be inspired. 🙂

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