Friday 6 October 2023

Churches (200) : St Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield

The church of St Mary & All Saints in Chesterfield, Derbyshire is one of the most distinctive churches in the country due to it's distorted spire, of which more later. The church dates from 1234CE and was built on the site of earlier churches dating back to Saxon times. The church has a cruciform plan with a nave, aisles and north and south transepts. The chancel is surrounded by four guild chapels. The church was rebuilt in the 1700s in a Neo-Gothic style. 

The spire dates from 1362 and has a distinctive twist (45 degrees) and lean nearly 3m from the centre). Quite why this has happened is not fully known but may be due to the poor initial build and the addition of heavy lead sheeting in the 17th century on an interior not designed for the weight. Though there are other theories for the spire, including it being the work of the Devil!

The spire has become a symbol of the town and even given the local football team it's nickname the Spirelites!