Once arriving in Chesterfield we had a wander round the local shops and market. It was a mix of traditional high street shop chains and then a few local bakeries and book shops nestled in amongst them. I love looking round special independent shops, they have their own rustic charm that you just don’t get from chains. One local shop, Jackson’s The Bakers seemed quite popular and had a lovely traditional display of breads and cakes in the window. They were proudly displaying a photo of the Hairy Bikers visiting the shop, so it must be quite well known.
As we drew closer to the Spire, I was surprised at how large the church was. I’ve only ever seen glimpses of the spire in the past and never actually stopped to think about the church it is attached to. In my mind it was quite a small church, but in reality it’s actually quite a large and grand affaire. It is in fact the largest church in Derbyshire.
The church was open to visitors so we got to have a look around inside. It was very impressive with tall columns, a vaulted ceiling and some original stained glass windows. The hushed reverence inside was very peaceful. You can even take trips up the tower if you visit between Easter and Christmas. I bet the views are spectacular.
The church itself is called The Church of St Mary’s and All Saints and its now famous Crooked Spire came about completely by accident. When it was being constructed in the late 13th Century, young green timber was used, meaning it was still soft and subtle. This was a mistake and meant when the heavy cladding and tiles went on top it twisted and warped into the Crooked Spire it has now become famous for. It actually leans 9 foot, 5 inches from its true centre, and in some ways I’m amazed it’s still standing.
Before we left we had a light lunch in a little café we happened across called Organic Kitchen. It was a fairly simple café serving a selection of hot and cold sandwiches, soup and omlettes. Nothing fancy, but nice freshly prepared lunchtime faire. They had a small selection of gluten free items listed on the menu which always pleases me and I enjoyed a tasty mushroom omlette with a side of beans. I don’t know why more places don’t offer omlettes, when cooked fresh they are delicious.
I’m pleased I finally went to Chesterfield and visited the Crooked Spire after only seeing it from a distance for so long. Anyone got any other suggestions of local Yorkshire places I should visit?