1430 - 1441 AD The Wild Mare
During the construction of the stone church, the large stones would have been raised from the ground and lifted into position at the top of the tower by the use of a medieval treadmill, known at the time as a 'Wild Mare'. It was given this name, it is thought, because if two or three people roped a wild horse and one of them slipped and let go of his rope, the others were usually dragged along the ground by the horse, and injured. Similarly, if one of the men on the tread-wheel at St James were to slip for any reason, when there was a heavy load being handled, the load would hurtle down to the ground, causing the wheel to rotate at a terrific rate, which threw the remaining workers about and caused terrible accidents.
Did you know...
Louth St James houses one of only four medieval Wild Mares left intact in England.
For hundreds of years St James was a wooden building: no tower, no spire. Imagine that!