When the Spire Needed Repair

Rebuilding the Spire in the Past

Four previous rebuilding campaigns of the top of the spire have been recorded.

The first time occurred after the spire was damaged by lightning in 1652 and part of it was taken down. This would have been around the time when Isaac Newton was a pupil in the nearby King's School.  Rebuilding started in 1661.

The second followed a partial collapse of the spire in 1797.

The third was in 1884/8 which was overseen by the Architect at the time, Oldrid Scott.

The fourth was in 1946 when the top 16ft of the spire was rebuilt.


The Problem in 2011

During an external inspection of the spire in the Autumn of 2011 a few external fractures were found at a high level. An internal inspection was made, and although work done in 1946 to the top 16 feet of the spire is still sound with the stonework tightly clamped together with non-ferrous metalwork, in virtually every course of stonework in a 24 foot deep zone below the 1946 rebuild, embedded iron cramps, most likely inserted in 1797, have now rusted to the extent that the stone has lifted and split the inner face of the stone.


The Solution

In December 2011 a grid of bracing scaffold poles was erected inside the top part of the spire, combined with external boarding and strapping. Together these clamped together the structure more firmly making it safe until funds can be raised for restoration to begin.


During 2014 the top 40 foot of the spire was removed, the stonework repaired and the whole spire was restored to its former glory.