May 24, 2022

Anyone recognise this landmark spire? Do you know the story?

It’s what can happen when inexperienced people take charge!

Often true craftsmanship is hidden from view- we can all see the faults But fail to understand the underlying reasons.

When the current spire was completed around 1360 AD  to replace the original which had been destroyed by fire, England‘s population had been decimated by the Black Death, resulting in too few experienced craftsmen having survived.  
So, when a fire destroyed the original spire certain mistakes were made.

The timber was too fresh and as there was no seasoned timber available- unseasoned timbers were used. The use is unseasoned timbers may also be attributed to the lack of experience of those engaged in rebuilding the spire. 

Possibly a shortage of timber also led to there being no cross bracing.  Ir again it could also be attributed to the craftsmen lacking the necessary knowledge.

The twisting occurred when the the beams began to dry out and the weight of the lead tiles held it all in place.

The amazing thing is that after so many centuries the spire still stands and forms an amazing landmark in Chesterfield. 

The church itself dates from the 12th Century AD

There are of course more colourful reasons given for the twisting of the spire- no doubt you can come up with a few of your own!