Founded in 1884 by Louth Naturalists',
Antiquarian and Literary Society
Registered Charity No. 1145436
A Local Independent Museum
Quality Assured Visitor Attraction
3rd September to 31st October 2015
Louth Museum proudly presents an exhibition dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the completion of the magnificent Spire of St James’ Church in Louth. The Parish Church of Louth stands in one of the most beautiful spots in Lincolnshire at the gateway to the lovely Wolds and visitors see the Spire as they cross the Wolds to reach Louth.
Indeed, Sir Charles Anderson wrote in his Lincoln Pocket Guide:
“Louth – its great feature is the Church of St James the spired tower of which, for simplicity, strength, symmetrical proportion and tasteful decoration, yields to none in England …”
The 13th September 2015 marks the 500th anniversary of the completion of the magnificent Spire of St James' Church in Louth. Work began in 1501 with the raising of loans and gifts. The stone was to come from three quarries around Wilsford near Ancaster. Because of the high cost of transporting it to Louth as much dressing of the stone that could be done was carried out in the quarries. It then cane by cart to the river Slea near Appletreewick and thence by flat bottom barge along Kyme Eau to the Witham. From there it travelled the short distance to the Bain at Dogdyke and up to Coningsby. From here it travelled by road through Horncastle and on to Belchford eventually joining the Bluestone road and on to Louth. The journey could only be made in the summer months because of the poor conditions of the roads.
On arrival the stone would be carved in the Masons Lodge under the instruction of the Master Mason. You can imaging the spire growing over the years as the carters trudged over the Wolds with their heavy burdens. Eventually all the necessary stone had arrived and the spire grew towards its panicle. The stone was raised by means of the treadmill known as “The Wild Mare”. It was given this name because it had no break!
Finally the Weather Cock re-cast from a cauldron retrieved as booty from the battle of Flodden, was placed on top. On that day great celebrations took place and much beer was drunk by the town’s folk with the priests praising God.
Today it stands 295’ above the ground, the tallest medieval Parish Spire in England and on the 13th September Louth will once again celebrate this great achievement.
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