We are thrilled to have been working on this iconic Chesterfield building; Pinnacle were set the challenge of installing a new access walkway at the base of the crooked spire to enable the church to safely re-commence their famous Tower tours.
St Mary’s famous13th century twisted spire, leans at an astonishing 9 feet 5 inches from true. But why does it lean? Part of the presumed explanation is that the builders used green timbers which warped over time, but it’s mainly due to the lead tiles used to cover the spire’s timbers. Over 32 tonnes of lead tiles created such a heavy weight that the timbers simply couldn’t bear the strain, and twisted alarmingly. An additional reason is that the builders didn’t use a cross-brace to compensate for the weight of the tiles.
It is possible that the spire was built during the period when the Black Death devastated England, between 1348-1350. The spire may have been started by experienced workmen, who then died in the Plague, so the work had to be finished by inexperienced men, who simply didn’t know enough to put in braces.