A weather vane from Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight summer home has been carefully raised back into place after being painstakingly restored.
English Heritage took action to repair and conserve it after it became so badly storm-damaged that it was not safe to remain on the clock tower at Osborne House in East Cowes.
Craftsmen used as many original materials as possible to restore the vane, which dates back to the 1860s and had been in storage for about 15 years.
A crane was used to lift the vane back into place at the top of the 90ft (27m) high tower which dates to the 1840s.
An English Heritage spokeswoman said: “The weather vane was so badly damaged in a storm that it was not safe for it to remain on the clock tower and was placed in storage.
“The reinstatement of the weather vane is the culmination of work over the last two years to conserve and repaint the tower itself.
“Skilled local contractors based on the island have undertaken work, repairing as much of the original materials as possible, and only when necessary making like-for-like repairs.”
She added: “The weather vane, which is decorated in gold with N, S, E, W markers and a moveable arrow indicating wind direction, has been carefully repaired, conserved and re-gilded with gold leaf by a local special metal conservator, the wooden post, which holds the vane and is 3m (nearly 10ft) in length, has undergone wood species identification by a specialist engineer and, due to deterioration beyond repair, is being replaced like for like.
“The supporting metal work has been cleaned, repainted and refurbished by a heritage wrought iron contractor.”