Great London Tornado


Great London Tornado

London The 17th of October 1091 AD

London Bridge, not for the first time, indeed fell down – or at least was badly damaged - when winds now believed to have been well over 200mph struck it during the first tornado recorded in our history. The church of St Mary-le-Bow was levelled, reports stating that four huge rafters were driven deep into the London clay so that only four feet of their 26 feet lengths remained visible. And some 600 wooden houses in The City were flattened by the winds, along with several churches of lesser renown. Incredibly, only two deaths are said to have been caused by the event.
In a superstitious age – the story of Halley’s Comet being taken as a portent relating to William the Conqueror ’s invasion is well-known – contemporaries may have regarded the tornado, which hit London on October 17 1091, as a message from god. Given William Rufus ’s recent raiding of church resources it is probable there were mutterings about the wickedness of the king.
That storm may have been particularly severe, but Britain in fact suffers frequently from tornadoes, albeit generally far less powerful and memorable ones. In 2005 £40 million of damage was done in Birmingham by twisting winds of 130mph, which gives pause for thought about the destructive capability of its Norman forerunner.

More famous dates here

16802 views since 8th October 2010


From Ricky Meyer on 20th May 2013
Great story! i've written about this eventful tornado. Awesome information about the details! Only thing is the first recorded tornado was in Ireland in 1054! Other then that Kickin' good!

Brit Quote:
Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment. - Samuel Johnson
More Quotes

On this day:
Canterbury Monks Observe Massive Meteor Event - 1178, Battle of Sevenoaks - 1450, 1st British Life Insurance Policy - 1583, Battle of Chalgrove Field - 1643, Johnson Contracts to Produce His Dictionary - 1746, Battle of Waterloo - 1815, Redcoats Drop Breeches - 1823, Staines Air Disaster - 1972, Battle of Orgreave - 1984
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages