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All Saints church - Twisted Spire - Hereford, Herefordshire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 03.398 W 002° 43.073
30U E 519342 N 5767374
Quick Description: Although restoration works in 1992 straightened the spire of All Saints' church in Hereford somewhat, it is still about 6in out of true, but far better than the 1ft 10in it was before.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/6/2018 11:11:54 AM
Waymark Code: WMZN8J
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Jake39
Views: 0

Long Description:

Although restoration works in 1992 straightened the spire of All Saints' church in Hereford somewhat, it is still about 6in out of true, but far better than the 1ft 10in it was before.

SOURCE - http://www.photobydjnorton.com/OtherPlaces/Hereford.html

Spire in 1964

"The church was begun around AD 1200, though that early 13th-century building suffered damage, probably from an earthquake, and had to be rebuilt.

The rebuilding process took a century and the church was not completed until around 1330. It is roughly as wide as it is long and has an unusually high roof.

The unusual twist to the striking spire is not the result of great age; it seems to have twisted immediately after being erected, probably because the builders erected the tower foundations on a rubbish pit that could not hold the weight.

The spire twisted further when cast iron rods holding the stones in place rusted and pushed the stones further out of alignment. The result is utterly charming, though no doubt the stuff of an architect's nightmare.

Age and decay took its toll and the church had to close in 1996 for a massive restoration project. Not only was the church fully restored, it was transformed into a multipurpose community venue, with a popular cafe and community centre occupying the interior."

SOURCE - (Visit Link)

The All Saints Church spire in Hereford, which is 240ft (73m) high, had a five-degree list to the south-east, and a structural engineer's report had warned that an 84mph wind could be strong enough to blow the city's highest landmark down.

In 1992 the top 40ft (12m) section was dismantled, and the octagonal sandstone spire was encircled by a crow's nest scaffold to catch falling masonry and a large copper weathercock which was installed by kite in 1870.

The spire, then, was 1ft 10in (56cm) out of line and half that movement had occurred since 1950, gaining acceleration as the problem worsened. In one instance a piece of mortar the size of a dinner plate fell from 100ft (30m) just missing a mother with a child in a pushchair and another lump skimmed a man's arm.

The Grade One listed church dates from 1290 and was built next to a Saxon ditch which caused the tower to subside slightly to the north-west. It is thought workmen gave the spire a slight banana curve to compensate.

Victorian builders also dismantled the spire in the search of a cure. But they inserted iron hoops which rusted and made the spire bend more.

After the repair works the top still leans slightly, but it is within six inches of the lower section's centre of gravity.

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