Crooked spire still twisting

17th March 2000 at 00:00
CHESTERFIELD'S famous crooked church spire is twisting again, and surveying lecturers from the town's college are following its every move.

The 228-foot high steeple of St Mary's and All Saints church has been a lopsided landmark on the Chesterfield skyline for more than 600 years. But college construction lecturers have just discovered that it has shifted by nearly 5 centimetres in three years.

Local legend has it that the devil bent the spire in a fit of anger and it will strighten when a virgin weds at the church.

But lecturer Phil Goulding says the spire - now nearly nine feet south and four feet west of its original position - is due to the architects putting a lead cladding roof on a frame of unseasoned timber. "There's no concern about it ever falling down though," he says.

Construction students inspect its unusual construction and the college even use it as part of their logo - which makes it a symbol of lifelong leaning, perhaps?

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