Duffy of Chesterfield

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Chesterfield church and its crooked spire

Duffy of Chesterfield was a mad boy who lived in the fourteenth century. He was befriended by a powerful fairy who claimed that Duffy, being ill-treated by the people of Chesterfield, and the fairy, believing himself to be ill-treated by humans in general, were "brothers in adversity". The fairy gave Duffy many extravagant and useless presents and often tormented the townspeople of Chesterfield on his favourite's behalf. (The most noted of these latter exploits involved transforming the stones of the partly-built church into sugar-loaves, which then softened and half-melted in the sun.) To prevent these mischiefs the townsfolk had to humble themselves to Duffy, and plead with him to intercede with his fairy protector to repair the damage done to their town.

The church was eventually returned to stone, but still retains a rather unusual appearance [33].