Sending the spire to London

In the 16th Century, a panic arose in Grantham regarding the fine spire of St Wulfram's church. It came about because a man was found sketching the spire, and on being asked why he was doing it, for reasons best known to himself he replied that it was to be taken away and put on the top of St Paul's, London. The wooden spire of St Paul's had burned down in June 1561 so people thought that what the man had said might be true.

There was a lot of agitation and discussion, and reasons had to be found quickly to prevent Grantham church losing its spire. One argument was the difficulty of wrapping the spire ready to be transported. This led to a rhyme which was published in Barnabee's Journal sometime after 1588. Barnabee was a wit who recorded his wanderings up and down the country in a journal of verse. He wrote:

"Thence to Grantham I retired,
Famous for a spire aspiring
Hence the townsmen are animated
That their spire should be translated
Unto Paul's, and great's their labour,
How to purchase so much paper
To enwrap it, as is fitting
To secure their spire from splitting."

At last the problem was solved when someone pointed out that it would be impossible to get it up the North-road, as the spire would not fit under the sign of the George Hotel, and now they had their answer, the townspeople were able to relax and the spire remained safely in place on top of St Wulfram's tower.