Britainís Worst Avalanche
Contrary to what might be expected, the deadliest avalanche in British history did not happen in the wild and wintery mountains of Scotland, but the very south of England in the decidedly non-alpine town of Lewes in Sussex, a place more associated with the warmth of its bonfire celebrations than freezing blizzards and St Bernard dogs.
After prolonged snowfalls in December 1836 huge volumes of powder snow had built up on the cliffs hanging over the cottages on Boulterís Row. What caused the snow to move is unclear, but move it did with fatal consequences on December 27 1836, destroying seven of the cottages and burying 15 people within them. Eight of those buried died in the snow, the other seven were thankfully pulled free before suffocation and hypothermia could raise the death toll further.
In Lewes what was Boulterís Row is now South Street. The pub called the Snowdrop on that street is named not for the beautiful spring flower, but for that terrible event in 1836.
More famous dates here
10125 views since 17th December 2009
On this day: