Train Travels: Volume 2 – Yorkshire and The East Midlands

This is the second in my record of the interesting things we have seen on our travels by train, and volume two covers some of our travels through Yorkshire and the East Midlands in England.

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Chesterfield Crooked Spire

On the way to both Derby and Nottingham, we passed through the town of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on the train. There is one part of the town that really stands out, especially on a sunny day. The above spire is attached to the Church of St Mary and All Saints. The main building was built sometime in the 14th century, with the spire added in 1362. The spire twists to 45 degrees, and has long been marvelled at by architects. It is thought that when lead was applied to the spire, it was left for a while before the tiles would be attached. The south side of the spire then got very hot in the sun and this caused it to distort, whilst the north side didn’t heat us as much and that is why the spire has its distinctive twist.

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Wainhouse Tower

Nearing the town of Halifax on a Northern Rail train between Preston and Bradford, we caught sight of this fantastic tower, stood on a hill overlooking Halifax and the local area. It was built in the 19th century by a man named J. E. Wainhouse, originally as part of his dye works. The 253 feet tall tower was never used in the end and an observation gallery was added to it, which is open for around 10 days a year to visitors.

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Halifax Minster and Square Church

Following on from the previous picture, when we reached Halifax itself, we got a great view of two of the towns main buildings:

Halifax Minster (right)

The Minster, dedicated to St John the Baptist, was completed by 1438. It is one of three Minster’s in the county of West Yorkshire, with the other two being in the City of Leeds and the Town of Dewsbury. There is a large window in a side wall of the building that was added in 1854 and depicts the crucifixion of Jesus. In the 17th century most of the stained glass in the building was removed as as the Puritans of the era thought it was an abomination. One medieval section does survive, in one of the uppermost windows.

It’s a great looking building, and one I had heard and was keeping an eye out for as we passed.

Square Church (left)

The remains of a church known as Square Church survive in Halifax. Only the spire remains as the rest of the building was demolished in 1976. The building was opened in 1857, and an adjacent chapel was completed in 1772. The spire itself is 235 feet tall, and was preserved when the rest of the church was taken down.

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The Peak District

On the route from Manchester to Sheffield, the train runs directly through the Peak District, one of England’s outstanding National Parks. Mile upon mile of unspoilt countryside stretches into the distance, and the snow covered peaks greeted us as we travelled through Derbyshire into South Yorkshire. It’s fully accessible by car and small roads run through the hills, giving you some of the best views in England.

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Emley Moor Transmitting Station

When we arrived at Wakefield Westgate, we got a great view of the Emley Moor Transmitting Station, not far away. It stands 1,084 feet tall, and has a few statistics related to it’s height:

1) Tallest free standing structure in the UK

2) 7th tallest free standing structure in the European Union

3) 4th tallest tower in Europe

4) 23rd tallest tower in the world

So it’s a big landmark in Britain, and has stood there since 1971.

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