Church clock back after having time off

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Clock this!

Chesterfield’s landmark Crooked Spire church has finally got its timepiece back.

After being out of action since January, the ticker on the world-famous building was repaired by clockmakers Smith of Derby.

Last Thursday, workmen abseiled down the spire to replace the clock mechanism and its hands.

Councillor Terry Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s deputy leader and executive member for planning, said: “All over the world, people know Chesterfield for its Crooked Spire.

“It has certainly been a strange sight to see the clock without its hands over the last few weeks while the mechanism was repaired.”

The Crooked Spire – a Grade I listed building which was built in the 14th century – is the largest church in Derbyshire.

In common folklore, there are a number of stories about why the spire is twisted. One says that a virgin married in the church and the spire turned around to look at the bride. Legend also has it that a blacksmith from Bolsover made a poor job of shoeing the Devil who, lashing out in agony as he passed over Chesterfield, gave the spire a violent kick.

In reality, however, it is believed the inclination was caused by unseasoned wood and heavy lead tiles.