Rotherham Minster spire to be rebuilt

ROTHERHAM'S 188-foot high Minster spire is to be taken down bit by bit and then rebuilt after it was found to be crumbling away.

The historic spire, which is topped by a 7-foot weathervane, will be shrouded in scaffolding for months while the work takes place.

The Rev Canon David Bliss, Vicar of Rotherham Minster, said: “It was discovered that the pointing on the spire was crumbling and this was starting to let water in.

“Inside the spire, there are cast iron tie bars to strengthen it and these are being corroded by the water.

“So the top 33 feet is being taken down, the cast iron bars will be removed, new bars will be put in and the spire will be rebuilt.”

The major building work is likely to continue through to March next year. 

“The scaffolding looks pretty impressive because of its complex nature and the size of it,” said Mr Bliss.

Specialist stonemasons could begin the repair work on the spire as early as today.

“Once it’s put back together again, the spire will be the same height a before, but rebuilt,” said Mr Bliss.

“Brand new tie bars will be placed in the spire and, as these will be non-ferrous and there will be no iron, hopefully we will never have to face this problem again.”

The work is being funded by the church, with some very generous donations to help with the building costs.

Formal applications for help with the funding have so far been unsuccessful. Mr Bliss said: “It’s an essential repair that we have to do.”