Bridgwater St Mary's Church spire
The west elevation.
Work on constructing the spire began on 28 June 1367.
The two strong butresses at the corners of the tower may have been added in 1383-5.
The tower is 60 foot high; the spire 114 foot.
Detail of the capstone and weather cock.
S G Jarman, in Handbook of St Mary's Church Bridgwater (Bridgwater Gazette 1855) notes that:
"In a terrific thunderstorm in the year 1814, the spire was split by lightning, and in the following year it was repaired with great difficulty, the work being done by a Mr Thos. Hitchings, builder, of the town. A series of poles were lashed to the steeple, and the top was ultimately reached, and rope ladders affixed." "A long rod and lightning conductor were fastened to the top of the spire, inside, and bolted to the centre of the tower in the bell-chamber, and a huge weight was also affixed to it, as may still be seen."
In 1836, William Stradling had custody of "the top stone but one of Bridgwater Spire which, having braved the blasts of nearly six centuries, was so much injured by lightning (probably in 1813)
as to be rendered dangerous". A photograph by Robert Gillo taken from 32 Friarn Street shows the top section of the spire in scaffolding in 1878.