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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Friday, 3rd February, 2012)

Last chance to see St Catharine's crooked spire

Last chance to see St Catharine's crooked spire
I have not manipulated the orientation of the photo - but the lens has slightly distorted the image - making the spire actually look less crooked than it is. I included the lamp-post as a reference point. It stands straight - but looks as if it is leaning slightly to the right. If corrected, the spire is seen to be leaning even further to the left. Scaffolding will appear around the spire this week. I understand that the spire will be taken down two levels - to just above the clock. The remainder will then be underpinned - with rods reaching down to at least 15m. The spire will then be rebuilt - straight. Thus the spire will no longer be leaning - but the effect may be even more dramatic to the onlooker - as the crookedness of the lower section will be even more pronounced when referenced against the straightened spire and the almost straight body of the church.

Photo: Rev David Long  (Konica Minolta 7D)
Views: 6,683

Comment by: Mick on 3rd February 2012 at 07:58

Read all about it here.


Comment by: carol on 3rd February 2012 at 10:55

Well done Rev! A beautiful clear photo a a well known Wigan Landmark. Let's hope they do rebuild it!

Comment by: Scholes Malc on 3rd February 2012 at 10:56

Being born within 50 yards of that church it always had a certain pull to us as youngsters.
I remember to the left of the entrance door, just around the corner, there was a massive stone (from up above!) We were told, as kids, that during the construction of the church, the stone fell from high along with a black worker who was killed instantly. The stone was left in its fallen position in memory of that man. It remained there for many years but now it is gone.
Does anyone else remember this stone or story or did I drink too much ovaltine as a child?

Comment by: Nev Buchanan on 3rd February 2012 at 12:21

Thanks for the link Mick. You'd think the BBC would have checked the spelling of the Saint's name!

Comment by: Cyril on 3rd February 2012 at 12:34

Does anyone know why there are numbers on the stones around the outside of the entrance and along the coping stones of the curtilage walls, are they grave plot references or something else?

Comment by: Tony on 3rd February 2012 at 13:53

Keep us updated. Brilliant

Comment by: twitter on 3rd February 2012 at 17:55

message to standisher , whats your name , i worked at the bda for many years ,

Comment by: dot on 3rd February 2012 at 19:30

Born in the st near by also 4 generations married there.Sang in the church with others and went to St Catherines school. They did my daughter proud when they painted the church inside, just prior her getting married, and it was so beautiful. Saw the local papar where some funding is going towards the restoration work.People of Wigan have had a leaning tower of scholes for quite some time. The newspaper shows trees growing in places on the steeple. It is such a lovely old land mark. Will be glad to see it repaired. Has anyone else noticed the different spelling for Catherine along the street nearby??

Comment by: Ken R on 3rd February 2012 at 19:50

That spire has had a lean for a long time. I did hear at one time during WW2 that the German bomber pilots where told to look out for the spire, this is probably an old war tale.
My wife Betty ( nee Williams) and I were married there in 1954

Comment by: lock lass on 3rd February 2012 at 20:26

I listened to this story on GMR this morning and it was so interesting.

Comment by: Al. C. on 6th February 2012 at 10:38

I was once told that the lean was made worse due to a Zeppelin bomb falling nearby during the well documented "Top Place" air raid in WW1, does anybody know if this is true?

Comment by: Brian K on 7th February 2012 at 13:45

St Catherines was leaning from the first day it was built, If left would probably go on leaning for the next two hundred years, what a waste of money,

Comment by: Rev David Long on 8th February 2012 at 21:36

The congregation at St Catharine's would be only too pleased not to have to raise scores of thousands of pounds as their share of the cost of the works, which tests have shown to be unavoidable (read the site quoted above). As for the history - look at:

Comment by: Keith on 6th March 2012 at 12:18

I attended St Catharines in the early 1950's when Mr Shenton was headmaster and Eddie Rudd our form teacher along with Miss Wilcox. I do remember a story about a man who was working on the spire falling to his death but can't corroborate your story Scholes Malc about the stone.

Comment by: nadine foy nee sharp on 1st March 2013 at 12:18

i live at 4,lorne st and seen the construction take shape every day,really enjojed watching it,i was married here 18-6-1983 my pearl anniversary this year,

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