One of the greatest church curiosities in the land, the ‘twisted spire’ of St Mary and All Saints church at Chesterfield, dominates the skyline. This church was built between 1234 and 1360 and, rising to 228ft, the spire leans 9ft 5ins from its true centre. Its eight sides are covered by a herringbone pattern of lead slates which trick the eye into seeing sixteen faces from the ground, and the result is a crooked spire.
Legend has it that a powerful magician persuaded a Bolsover blacksmith to shoe the devil, who took flight over Chesterfield where he lashed out, caught the church spire and twisted it out of shape.
The truth probably lies in the fact that unseasoned timbers became distorted over the years due to the heavy lead covering.
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Photo taken in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK