Church Of The Crooked Spire

Yhun Suarez

Joined January 2010

Artist's Description

St Mary and All Saints Parish Church, Chesterfield.
Derbyshire, England.

..check out Lina hiding under the tree…lol ;)

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© All Images Copyright Yhun Suarez

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CHALLENGE WINNER of the Crosses Challenge in Architecture – The British Isles – 19 Aug 2011

Featured in Christian Churches, Statues & Crosses – 17 Jun 2011

Featured in A Class Of Its Own Gallery – 11 Jun 2011

Featured in Architecture – The British Isles – 10 Jun 2011

Featured in HDRI – No Holds Barred – 9 Jun 2011

Bubblemeet: 29th of May 2011 with my wife Icel, John Hare, Evelina Kremsdorf & Gouzelka. See More Photos Here

Nikon D60, tamron 10-24 mm lens @ 10 mm, handheld, UV filter, f/7.1, 1/200, ISO 100.
single RAW file tone mapped in Photomatix.
adjustments in PS.

Chesterfield Parish Church is an Anglican church dedicated to Saint Mary and all saints, located in the town of Chesterfield in Derbyshire, England. Predominantly dating back to the 14th century, the church is a Grade I listed building and is most known for its twisted spire; an architectural phenomenon which has led to the church being given the common byname of the Crooked Spire. The largest church in Derbyshire, it lies within the Diocese of Derby, for which it forms part of the Archdeaconry of Chesterfield.

The spire was added to the 14th century tower in about 1362. It is both twisted and leaning, twisting 45 degrees and leaning 9 feet 6 inches (2.90 m) from its true centre. The leaning characteristic was initially suspected to be the result of the absence of skilled craftsmen (the Black Death had been gone only twelve years prior to the spire’s completion), insufficient cross-bracing, and the use of unseasoned timber.

However, it is now believed that the twisting of the spire was caused by the lead that covers the spire, which was added 300 years after it was built — before this it was covered with oak tiles.[citation needed] The lead causes this twisting phenomenon, because when the sun shines during the day the south side of the tower heats up, causing the lead there to expand at a greater rate than that of the north side of the tower, resulting in unequal expansion and contraction. Add that to the weight of the lead (approx. 33tons) which the spire was not originally designed to bear and that it was not sufficiently braced for the weight of the lead, the twisting effect that can be so clearly seen on the spire was inevitable. Also it was common practice to use unseasoned timber at the time the spire was built as when the wood was seasoned it was too hard to work with, so as unseasoned wood was used they would have made adjustments as it was seasoning in place. These theories can be rejected as there is evidence to suggest that the spire was straight for the first 300 years after it was built and as wood seasons within 50 years these theories now can hold no weight.

In common folklore, there are numerous explanations as to why the spire is twisted. One is that the spire was so shocked to learn of the marriage of a virgin in the church that it bent down to get a closer look. Should this happen again, it is said that the spire will straighten and return to its true position. Another is that a Bolsover blacksmith mis-shoed the Devil, who leaped over the spire in pain, knocking it out of shape. Many other such stories exist, these are two notable examples.

The tower upon which the spire sits contains ten bells. These bells were cast in 1947 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, replacing a previous ring. The heaviest weighs 25cwt. The place in which the bells are situated once held the builders windlass, which is one of the only examples of a medieval crane in existence and is the only example of one that has survived from a parish church. The windlass is now on display at Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery. (Info Source: Wikipedia).

Artwork Comments

  • Marcia Rubin
  • Yhun Suarez
  • Shehan Fernando
  • Yhun Suarez
  • William Bullimore
  • Yhun Suarez
  • John Hare
  • Shulie1
  • Wendi Donaldson Laird
  • beeer
  • photogaryphy
  • Gouzelka
  • Carol Knudsen
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