Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories


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One thing is certain, past errors have given Chesterfield an iconic building and a lasting symbol. The skill of producing stained glass really came into its own in the Medieval period and the Parish Church of Chesterfield certainly had beautiful stained glass in its early history. The Reformation — 37 , however, saw the removal of Medieval stained glass from churches all over Britain and it was not until the s that the use of stained glass was revived.

Many of the beautiful stained glass windows in the Crooked Spire church today are from this later period. Nevertheless, if you look carefully, you can still discover several Medieval examples. Since the early s the Parish Church has boasted ten bells, which once could be heard up to four miles away. Really, there are eleven bells. The eleventh is known as the Shriving or Curfew Bell.

Chesterfield was, from , a centre for Napoleonic army and navy officers on parole. Not having been repaired since , in the early s Mr Robinson, clockmaker of Chesterfield, contacted a Mr Paine, a horologist from London, to undertake serious work on the church clock. The clock was then lit up for the first time in October Later improvements included electric lights installed in and an internal clock mechanism fitted in This was because the west face housed the gas burners.

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Only the west face, the side that faced the town, was illuminated. In , there was a problem with the clock on the south face and, to mend it, the hands had to be removed. Chesterfield Parish Church, like so many churches in Britain, is cruciform in shape and architecture.


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What does cruciform mean? It is a style of church built in the form of a cross and usually shows the influence of Gothic architecture. It has:. We often think of Medieval times only in terms of noble families, knights and peasants, but Medieval citizens were also business people and craftsmen.

Church of St Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield

These Guilds often gave money to local churches and had their own private chapels. Chesterfield Parish Church became, in the 14th century, very much a Guild Church and although many Guilds were abolished at the time of the Reformation a number of the chapels still remain today. The religious upheavals of the s resulted in the Lady Chapel becoming the chapel of an influential local family, the Foljambes, and being renamed the Foljambe Chapel.

Godfrey Foljambe was a loyal supporter of William I and was rewarded with land in Derbyshire and Yorkshire. It was, however, the sixth Godfrey who made the most lasting legacy to Chesterfield when his will:.

Weird and wonderful tales about why Chesterfield's famous spire is crooked

To this day, the alabaster tombs of the Foljambes remain in the chapel, which is located in the far south east corner of the church. Gilbert Scott was an enthusiastic member of the Camden Society who promoted the building and renovation of churches in the Gothic style. The restoration work was undertaken in and the Parish Church closed for nine months.

The value of this can be appreciated when you consider that new churches, of the same period, were completely built for almost the same price. Blessing an area of land around a church for burial came about in the eighth century. Not everyone was permitted to be buried within the churchyard, however. The north side was not blessed and those who had committed crimes were buried there, as were children who had died before baptism.

Additional graves often simply laid on pre-existing ones. After no further burials were allowed as it was noticed that the inside of the church was lower than the outside. A problem remedied during renovations of the s. A century later, in , all gravestones to the south and west were re-positioned at the very edge of the churchyard. The Alpine Gardens were opened and presented to the town of Chesterfield in by T.

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The gardens led a path through the north side of the Churchyard, linking the town centre to the railway station. The gardens, located where Rykneld Square is today, were removed in to make way for a new thoroughfare. On the north side of the churchyard is a headstone dedicated to Francois Raingeard, a French Officer from the Napoleonic War who died in Francois was a prisoner of war billeted in Chesterfield. The inscription on his gravestone is in French, English and Latin.

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Contents [ show ]. Tours take about minutes. In addition, regular tours take place on all summer Bank Holiday Mondays. The old market place was much closer to the Church in the Middle Ages, and it wasn't unusual for the nave to be used as a temporary store. This is why, in May , at the height of the Battle of Chesterfield, we find the Earl of Derby hiding among the wool sacks in the Church.

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Fire broke out in the north transept and flames roared through the building to threaten the Spire itself. Within minutes the roads were packed with fire engines and equipment. Church officials and clergy braved the heat and choking smoke to rescue sacred figurines, church treasures and parish registers from the flames. But, a few days later, the bells rang out for Christmas and a service was filmed for TV on 7 January The Church, along with its Spire, had weathered the storm to remain the symbol of Chesterfield.

Tower tours are possible on certain days, times are advertised on the Church website. The Crooked Spire Church is in Chesterfield town centre but has no car park of its own so the directions below are to the nearest town centre car parks.

At traffic light controlled roundabout select middle lane and take 3rd exit. At next roundabout select middle lane and take 2nd exit Lordsmill Street. Select left lane and take first left Beetwell Street. Multi-storey car park on right hand side. For surface car parks: at roundabout select middle lane and take 3rd exit. At next roundabout select right lane and take 2nd exit Lordsmill Street. Keep in right hand lane and go straight on. From West Follow A to Chesterfield. At traffic light controlled roundabout Matalan select middle lane and take 3rd exit.

Keep in left lane and, at traffic lights, go straight on.

Chesterfield, Crooked Spire Church, History & Photos | Historic Derbyshire Guide

Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery , Chesterfield The Museum tells the Story of Chesterfield, from its Roman origins to its growth as a market town and up to the present day. It has a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and events. Other Websites. Request Brochure Enewsletter Sign Up. Follow Us Facebook Twitter. Skip To Main Content. Crooked Spire Church. Type: Church. Call direct on: Tel

Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories
Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories
Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories
Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories
Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories
Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories
Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories Beneath the Twisted Spire & other strange stories

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