Thursday, 25 April 2013

Turn Back The Hands of Time!

A few weeks ago, a lovely couple from Dundee visited Balintore Castle and returned this original pointer from the wind direction dial in the great hall! Given that most of the original fittings at the castle have long since been stripped-out, I was absolutely thrilled. It is little moments like this that lift the morale in the long haul of the restoration process.

As a shooting lodge, the dial served an essential function for the castle, allowing shooting parties to stay downwind of the unsuspecting deer. A weather-vane on the top of the great tower was connected by an elaborate series of mechanical linkages to this dial. The weather-vane and linkages are still there, but all that remains of the display mechanism is an empty stone box in the west wall of the great hall.

It is totally right that thoughtful people remove items for safekeeping, which would otherwise fall prey to vandals or thieves. I myself am safekeeping an item from another ruined building, also designed by William Burn, which I found miraculously intact under the rubble.

I understand that the original dial for the "wind direction-o-meter" which would have been positioned behind this pointer, is in the possession of someone in Edinburgh, who is connected with Historic Scotland. Now would appear to be the right time to make a formal request. Could the person who has the dial, possibly in blue enamel. please return it? It is much more than a mere amnesty, I am willing to trade a large box of chocolates!

recently returned dial from great hall at Balintore Castle


  1. I LOVE those remote wind direction indicators (is there a name for them?). There is a nice one on the front of Amsterdam Centraal station, seen here on the left hand tower (with Dutch direction letters, of course :-), balancing the clock on the right hand tower.

    Look forward to seeing the Balintore one restored to working order one day - hopefully after return of the original dial.

  2. You are most tactful to refer to 'thoughtful people'. I would have thought that some might refer to themselves rather as remorseful opportunistic ex-thieves (not meaning to refer specifically to the guardians of the pointer!).