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Home > Weather in History 1000 to 1099AD

(T: warm/cold events; R: dry/wet events; S: 'stormy' events)

Date T R S  Description  Ref:
 1014  "St. Michael's day Flood"; Possible major flood due storm-surge (or some have "tsunami") occurred on 'St. Michael's Day, which is September 29th (OS) in the western / Christian calendar. (Note that Dutch chronicles have this as September 28th). Great damage to coastal communities along the English south coast & given the impact on the eastern side of the southern North Sea, surely had a significant effect on the English side of that water.)
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 (See text),
 1020  Possible severe winter (London/South).  8
 A cold winter. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb)  1
 November 2nd (OSP); some sort of major flooding occurred on the eastern side of the southern North Sea (Dutch coastal communities), which might have been a storm surge event; could possibly have affected the English side of that water.  GOTT
 A cold winter. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb)  1
 1047  Reputed to be the worst winter 'in living memory'. Severe frost & heavy snow.  6, 8
 1061  Thames frozen for seven weeks.  8
 1063  Severe winter (London/South).  8
 1066: (late summer/autumn):   WILLIAM OF NORMANDY - INVASION OF ENGLAND
In AD1066, after a long/dry summer, W/WNW winds prevailed in the Channel all through September. It was, according to TEC/Lamb, only the breaking of this anticyclonic NW'ly (ANW) spell that gave Duke William his chance to cross the Channel on the 7th October 1066 (New Style calendar).
 A cold winter. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb)  1
 1070 OS (early summer,
probably June)
 Apparently, there was a 'violent storm' in the North Sea as the Danish King, Sven II, was returning to Denmark with looted treasures from the east Midlands / Fen lands after being defeated (then reconciled) with William I ('The Conqueror') in early June.  Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
 A severe winter. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb)  1
 Severe winter in Britain.  1, 8
 "A dry summer, with many 'wild-fires' in many shires burnt down towns and strongholds". [from the web site .. but with no references there.]  x
 1085 (or 1086)  Severe winter (London/South).  8
(and / or perhaps 1087)
 'Wet' year (s): much famine / want & 'pestilence' over these 2 years. 1086 was also noted as 'a very thundery year', with much flooding & many people killed by lightning. The description may also be applied to 1087, but as always, caution is advised regarding whether both years were similarly afflicted & indeed just how much of the island of Britain was affected: it may be the old problem of the 'ecclesiastical' year starting on Lady Day, and events in what we would regard as 1087 in fact being credited to 1086, or, 'bad' weather from one year causing problems in the ensuing year, irrespective of the weather conditions. (London/South?)  8
 17th October 1091  Violent 'whirlwind' (probably a tornado/T8 according to TORRO .. date in some sources 23rd, and best not to stick rigidly to date given the antiquity of the report.) More than 600 houses destroyed, much damage to churches (chronicled well of course), and damage also to the not-long built Tower of London. (Some references also talk about a 'gale' which implies a more widespread event - difficult to be precise I would have thought as to what exactly the phenomenon was; 600 houses is a lot of property for a tornado, though not impossible of course.)  7, 8
 1092  A very wet year overall (London / SE?).  8
 1092/93  Severe frost in this winter. English rivers frozen so hard that horsemen and wagons could travel on them. When the thaw came, drifting ice destroyed bridges. (Followed a very wet year - see above.)  8
 Almost certainly a very wet year across England. Contemporary reports suggest heavy rain events throughout the year, rather than just concentrated in one season or a cluster of months.  8
 11th November(OS),
 A tidal flood affected the R. Thames estuary & adjacent areas of north Kent; it is not known whether London was affected, but according to legend, this inundation was responsible for the formation of the Goodwin Sands. The flooding also affected the Dutch coastal areas, so 'tidal' is problematic: I would suspect a wind-driven storm-surge which coincided with a high tide (?spring / exceptional?), and possible excessive autumnal land-water. "Thousands" of deaths reported in areas affected. (I would have thought that if London had been seriously affected, some chronicle of it would have survived?: The 11th century saw a high number of disastrous floods along the English east coast.)  7, 8

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Researched by and published with permission of Martin Rowley