Heaviest British Snowfall

Ashburton, Devon The 16th of February 1929 AD

On February 16 1929 Britain had its greatest ever snowfall in one day – in fact a mighty storm of 15 hours’ duration – around Holne and Ashburton at the southeast corner of Dartmoor. More than 6 feet of snow were recorded in that time (182cm). It is said that trees fell under the weight of snow on their branches; and of course the predicament of drivers was even worse then than now, with less powerful vehicles and far more basic tyres.
The winter of 1928-29 was one of the most severe on record: it is estimated that at one point the ice on Windermere was supporting the weight of 50,000 people; a few daring undergraduates managed to skate from Cambridge to Ely and back on the Cam and the Ouse; skaters flocked to the Royal Parks in London too. And normally mild Hampshire had 150 hours of continuous frost.
Dartmoor has a history of notable snowstorms: in the equally extreme winter of 1891 it recorded our second largest snowfall, with around 4’ 9” (150cm).
As global warming is associated with such extreme weather events, we can expect a few more of them in the coming years, with December 2010 already in the memory banks.

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From nick martin on 18th January 2013
I was interested in your comment on skating on the Ouse in 1929 - Cambridge to Ely and return. I had a photograph of my grandfather doing just that (on his way to Ely) during that severe winter - flat hat and skates screwed to his boots (none of the modern, fancy stuff!) - and he was 50 at the time! As a kid I could scarcely believe it!

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