Chesterfield, St Mary and All Saints, Derbyshire, ***

“Chesterfield is universally known for its twisted spire, the most famous architectural distortion north of Pisa…One theory is that the Devil rested on his way from Sheffield to Nottingham, another that a virtuous maiden sent the spire wild with admiration…A less romantic theory holds that lead plates laid herringbone over unseasoned timber led the wood to twist but not snap under the weight. The structure turned and sank, but then ‘set’ without collapsing. It lasted from the 14th century to the 19th when it was declared unsafe and experts advised demolition. Rubbish, said the citizens of Chesterfield and merely strengthened it.”




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