You are here
Home > Weather in History 1100 to 1199 AD

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

 Date T R S  Description  Ref:
 1100  "Benign climatic conditions in Europe - villages develop on previously unworked land." (this is taken from and they do not have references / sources; it must be asked if these conditions necessarily applied to all or part of Britain, as well as 'Europe'.  x
 1102  Drought (possible). Also noted as accompanied by 'excessive heat'.  8
"Great storm on St. Lawrence's Day which did much harm." I believe this Day is celebrated in the Catholic church (and therefore generally at this time) on the 10th August (OS). One site says the storm occurred on the morning of this day - and did more damage than anyone could remember. There is also a note on another site here ... [] that there was considerable stress to agriculture this year, which suggests both cold & wet conditions - consistent with the idea of a significant storm turning up in what we would regard as a summer month.
[data from: .. needs additional sources.]
 1104  Hekla (Icelandic volcano) explosion, probably in autumn: this is thought to have been a major eruption - which affected the climate in the immediate & downwind (European) area for several years. "Perished crops" were noted from England in 1105 & in 1109, it was apparently very thundery across England - which implies cooler-than-normal conditions aloft, again possibly associated with dust-veil cooling of the atmosphere. [Various sources but primarily Thorarinsson, S (1970). Hekla, A Notorious Volcano.]  x
 1110/11  Long & hard winter; bad weather, with both planted crops and trees severely affected. (London/South). [ also noted on the site .. ]  8
 (some doubt about the year, could be 1115): "Great winds in October and a 'terrible' storm on night of November 18th (OSP) damaged buildings and trees."
[ from ]
 Considered to be one of the driest years on record: on the 10th October(OSP) - some sources have the 15th(OSP), the Thames at London was so low that men and boys were able to wade across the river. (Combination of notably low tide & the aforementioned drought). (Some sources have the date as the 15th) [Note that the river had a completely different character to that of modern times.]  8
 An outstandingly severe winter: the frost lasted for about 9 to 11 weeks and nearly all the bridges in England were damaged by ice. [N.B: it may be that the following winter, 1115/16, was also severe, or that there is confusion and there was only one really severe winter about this time - I suppose we'll never really know, but I've added this latter as below.]
[ We have this from work on Irish texts relating to major volcanic activity affecting the stratosphere: . . . " Very severe weather, with frost and snow, from the fifteenth of the kalends of January to the fifteenth of the kalends of March, or a little longer, which made great havoc of birds, and cattle, and people; and from which arose great scarcity and want throughout all Ireland, and in Leinster especially. 15th of the kalends of January and 15th of the kalends of March are 15 days before 1 January and 15 days before 1 March, i.e. 18 December and 15 February, Julian Calendar (or 25 December and 22 February, Gregorian Calendar). We take this cold event as occurring in the 1114/1115 CE winter season. Source: Annals of Loch Cé, 1115 CE. Source: ]
 6, 8,
(see text)
 Although there is potential for considerable confusion here, it seems as if this winter (as well as that of 1114/15) was notably severe. [ see ]  x
& early 1117)
 A year of 'excessive' rains. "Heavy rains August to Candlemas ruined crops"; Candlemas is 2nd February, so this remark presumably cover the latter part of summer in one year to the mid-winter of the next (as we would reckon it). However at the time, 1116 would be reckoned to run from Lady-day of one year to Lady-day of the next [25th March], so the fact that this remark is attached to 1116 I think mean we can attribute this August 1116 to February 1117 in the 'modern' calendar. []  "The Weather" (Kimble & Bush)
 (following on from above ...) "Heavy rains nearly all year, disastrous for corn. December 1st violent weather, storms with hail.
 Possibly a "very great wind" on St. Thomas' Day (21st December); damage to houses/trees. (can't find any other supporting evidence for this one - treat with caution.)
 A 'violent' north-east gale did much damage in London on 18th October (OSP). (no other information on this as yet.)
 Exceptionally severe winter in France & Netherlands may also have affected Britain (probably at least the south & southeast if the Low Countries were affected).  1, 8
 "Great flood on St. Lawrence' Day (10th August/OSP), many towns, bridges and lowland crops ruined." This suggests the culmination of excessive rainfall for at least a couple of months before-hand.
 1128  Severe winter with heavy snow at Easter. Easter Day in 1128 was on the 22nd April, which is near to the latest Easter can fall and it would be remarkable if heavy snow fell in late April nowadays in lowland England. There may be confusion with 1125.  8
 'Significant storm' affects the Dutch coastal community - possibly also the English side of the southern North Sea.  GOTT
 1135-37  Relatively dry, with one exceptionally dry year in 1136; a particularly fine (hot & dry) summer in 1136. (It is not clear if ALL three years were dry, or just one (or two) of them.)  8
 (year may have been 1140): (possibly May 19th, new-style): Welsburn (now Wellesbourne), Warwickshire .. " a very violent whirlwind (i.e. a tornado) sprang up, a hideous darkness extended from the earth to the sky & the house of a priest was violently shaken, and all of his outbuildings were thrown down and broken to pieces ". Some 40 houses severely damaged, and large hailstones, (noted as the size of pigeons' eggs) fell, one of which killed a woman (& possibly one other).
This is the first record of a tornado that has been deduced by TORRO, and they assess it at T5 (in a scale that extends from T0 to T10).
 1141 (or
 Very cold weather with snow in December (which year?: Easton, in CHMW notes that it was the winter of 1142/43 that was cold in Europe.)  1, 8
(winter / early spring) [but possibly 1150/51]
 Severe winter: the first authentic report of the Thames being frozen solid - the frost lasted from December to March and the frozen river was crossed on foot and on horseback. Very intense cold began 10th December 1149 (OSP) and continued until (at least) February 19th (OSP). The Thames was frozen over at London Bridge and supported loaded wagons. (Some sources have this as the winter of 1150/1151)  1, 8
 1155 Possibly a cold spring & summer, with late snow & periods of strong winds / gales. (from an article in 'Weather'/March/2010) x (see entry)
 Because of an earthquake (?), the Thames at London was waterless and it was crossed dry-shod. Some sources give the year as 1157. Much more likely that it was a dry year, which just happened to coincide with a minor earth tremor.  8
 Severe Winter; frost & snow 25th December(OS) to 2nd February(OS) in Normandy & possibly in England. [ At this time, under Henry II, much of north-western & western France (in modern-day parlance) was a series of 'fiefdoms' of the Kings of England - an inheritance from the origins of the Norman conquest in 1066. This means that contemporary chronicles applicable to Normandy would have been of interest to many on this side of the English Channel. ]  8
 January 07/08 (OSP): major storm affects large areas either side of the southern North Sea; in Gottschalk's researches, she finds an explicit mention of affects on the English side of the water, which is not always the case.  GOTT
 A cold winter. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb) ... does make you wonder if there is confusion here with the 1175/76 event?  1
 1193  Regarded as 'unseasonable' (whatever that means), with thunder & lightning often noted through the year. A 'wet' year. (This presumably means that the general opinion was that the climate at this time 'should' have been drier?)  8

<<1000 to 1099 AD

>>1200 to 1299 AD

Researched and published with permission of Martin Rowley