WPC: One Shot, Two Ways – Crooked Spire of Chesterfield,United Kingdom

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: One Shot, Two ways

For this week’s  WPC challenge: ” One shot, Two ways” , I have chosen the 14th century twisted spire  in Chesterfield. These photos were taken by my spouse  during England summer (June 08) at the  St. Mary’s  & All Saints church in Chesterfield.

One shot, Two ways - Crooked spire (horizontal)

One shot, Two ways – Crooked spire (horizontal)

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One shot, Two ways (Vertical) – Twisted spire of Chesterfield

An excerpt from the Wikipedia:

The spire was added to the 14th century tower in about 1362.[3] 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.[citation needed]

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. This was compounded by the weight of the lead (approx. 33 tons) which the spire’s bracing was not originally designed to bear. 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.[citation needed]

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11 thoughts on “WPC: One Shot, Two Ways – Crooked Spire of Chesterfield,United Kingdom

    • Crooked spire was due to unskilled craftsmanship during construction, a decade after the black plague death 300 years ago. Another theory is that the original wooden tiles were replaced by lead tiles may have also contributed to the twisting & leaning.
      Isnt the same story with the leaning tower of Pisa (ie: poor foundation?)

      I have added the excerpt to my blog after reading your comment.
      Thanks for the feedback and I very much appreciate it. 🙂
      Saba.

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – One shot two ways | patriciaddrury

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