Peter's Blog

The Inner Heights

Written by Peter Johnston on .

Ever wondered what the inside of that huge spire we have as part of the church - and such a landmark in Ferryhill - might look like? Me too. So I jumped at the chance to join members of the Property Team with our architect Sholto Humphries to take a tour right up to the top of the interior to check how it is doing after all that work to it in 2012/13. I can happily report that everything is in good shape and the previous pools of water within the interior were no where to be seen, all was dry with a good healthy draft of air letting the whole structure breathe naturally.

Some six years ago waterproof landings were added in order to try to prevent some of the water ingress that was taking place at that time running all the way down to the base of the spire, and these continue to provide landing levels within the spire, but on this inspection they were bone dry. A few years ago there would have been a couple of inches of water in them. Good news.

I was fascinated to see the clock mechanism that extends out to all four faces from the centre of the spire, and also to see the bell held within a huge wooden framework, albeit we were mighty glad that it was not ringing as we climbed! This level has the open baffles directing the bell's sound downward and as a result it was pretty windy there, but the pigeon netting was holding and no evidence of birds inside were found.

In the picture at the top of this post you can see a view from the top landing level looking straight up through some of the interior cross bracing all the way to the pinnacle of the spire. The cross brace and bolt right at the top is what holds the cross on the spire's exterior in place.

We did joke that guided tours with a cup of tea halfway up should be arranged, but in lieu of this perhaps some of these images will suffice in showing you what it is like.

Thanks to Jim, Sandy, Ian, Linda and Sholto for letting me join you all!