Hertfordshire spike

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A Hertfordshire Spike at Braughing, Hertfordshire

A Hertfordshire Spike is a type of spire found on church-towers. It is defined in the Buildings of England as a "flèche or short spire rising from a church-tower, its base concealed by a parapet".[1] As the name suggests, it is common in Hertfordshire, but the same type of structure can be found in other English counties. The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Wendens Ambo, is a good example in Essex.[2]

Hertfordshire lacks good building stone, and its spires contrast with, for example, those of Northamptonshire which has a wealth of stone.[3]

An example of a broach spire in Northamptonshire

Even so, some Hertfordshire Spikes are more elaborate than others. That of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Ashwell, is part of an unusually tall and ornate tower.


  1. ^ Pevsner, N., Cherry, B. BoE, Hertfordshire. (1977)
  2. ^ "Church of St Mary the Virgin". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  3. ^ Aslet, C. (2007). "The stone that built a country". Retrieved 17 June 2018.