» Categories » Natural World
YearDay/MonthTitle / Details
Edward the Elder (899 - 924)
920Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
Aethelstan (924 - 939)
934Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
Edgar (959 - 975)
960Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
Canute (1016 - 1035)
1030Cottonian map of the world
 A map was produced in Canterbury showing an accurate representation of Britain, Europe and the World.
Harthacnut (1040 - 1042)
1041A year of storms and disease
 Stormy weather destroyed crops and diseases killed many cattle during the year.
Edward the Confessor (1042 - 1066)
1046Severe winter
 Extremely cold weather caused many deaths amongst animals and people.
 A large earthquake is supposed to have been felt across England.
1049May 1Earthquake in Midlands
 A large earthquake was felt in Worcester and Derby and many people were reportedly killed.
1053Dec 21Strong winds
 Extremely strong winds destroyed churches and buildings.
1054JulThe Crab Nebula seen
 The supernova that occurred in this year formed the Crab Nebula and the event was recorded by astronomers in China. The explosion was so great that the supernova would have been visible during the daytime. Due to the huge distances involved, the explosion would have happened thousands of years earlier but the light from the event only reached Earth in 1054.
William the Conqueror (1066 - 1087)
1066AprHalley's Comet
 The comet named after Edmund Halley who accurately predicted the return of the comet in 1758 (unfortunately after his death). It is difficult to determine when the comet would have appeared in the past as the orbit of the comet varies by several years. The Bayeux Tapestry shows what looks like a comet and this could well have been Halley's comet.
1086Stormy weather and disease
 Violent storms killed many people while cattle died from disease.
William Rufus (1087 - 1100)
1089Aug 11Earthquake
 An earthquake was felt across England.
1091Violent storm hits London
 London was hit by a terrible storm, possibly a tornado. Damage was done to the Tower of London, the old wooden London Bridge and many churches and buildings.
1097Oct 4Comet
 A star with a long tail was seen in the south-west.
Henry I (1100 - 1135)
1106A comet passes by
 A comet was seen and reported by several civilisations around the World. Lasting for forty days the comet grew steadily in brightness until finally fading away.
JanVenice hit by a series of disasters
 In January Venice was hit by severe floods. Shortly afterwards a fire broke out destroying several districts of the city. Several months later another more deadly fire started. As many of the buildings were constructed of wood the fire spread out of control. The disasters led to future buildings being constructed of stone and brick.
1111Severe winter
 An extreme winter prevented the growing of crops and cattle died of disease.
 A large earthquake damaged the areas of the Frankish control in the East. Antioch and Edessa were hit by the shocks.
 An earthquake damages Crowland Abbey.
1133Aug 2Eclipse
 There was an eclipse of the Sun over Scotland and the north of England on this day.
Aug 4Earthquake
 An eye-witness account (William of Malmesbury) tells of an earthquake affecting many parts of England. (Symeon of Durham's Historia Regum, by John of Hexham.) This is interesting as it occurred just after an eclipse. See year 1185 when another eclipse and earthquake occurred.
Stephen (1135 - 1154)
1140Mar 20Eclipse
 The Anglo Saxon Chronicles reported that an eclipse of the sun occurred on this day.
1150Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
Henry II (1154 - 1189)
1164An Airburst Meteor?
 From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report saying 'In the tenth year of Henry II, about the first hour there appeared in the sky three circles and two suns; and a dragon of immense size was seen in St. Osyth (Osey Island, co. Essex), sailing the air so close to the earth that divers houses were burnt by the heat.' Is this a report of an airburst meteor? An airburst meteor is a meteor that explodes in the air before it reaches the ground and doesn't create an impact crator. A more recent example of an airburst meteor occurred in Russia at a place called Tunguska. This event, known and the great Siberian explosion, happened in 1908 and resulted in the felling of millions of trees.
1170Jun 29Huge Eastern Mediterranean Earthquake
 A large earthquake hit the eastern Mediterranean along the fault line that runs along that region. A huge amount of damage was done causing a major loss of life. The earthquake was so powerful that the massive castle Krak des Chevaliers was damaged and needed repairing.
1174Nov 4An aurora is seen across Europe
 At about midnight, for the space of an hour or more, the whole face of the sky towards the north part was seen to be suffused with a red colour like blood.
1177Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
1185Earthquake in Sicily
 Reports of an earthquake in the Plantagenet Chronicles occurring in Sicily. Need to confirm.
Lincoln Cathedral damaged
 Earth tremors damaged the Cathedral at Lincoln beyond repair. The earthquake must have been very powerful as it was said that it was felt throughout the country. Only the West front survived in good shape and rest of the building had to be demolished.
May 1Eclipse
 There was an eclipse of the Sun on this day over the north of Europe. Interestingly, there was an earthquake that damaged Lincoln Cathedral in 1185. Did the earthquake happen before or after the eclipse? Are the two events related?
Richard I (1189 - 1199)
1191Jun 23Eclipse
 Most of Europe would have seen the Sun eclipsed by the moon just before midday.
John (1199 - 1216)
1200Jan 2Annular Eclipse of the moon
 An eclipse of the moon occurred at around midnight. (Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC)
1201JunStorms do much damage
 Severe thunderstorms and floods during the summer affected England.
1205JanRiver Thames freezes
 The winter of 1204/05 was so cold that the River Thames froze over and the cold spell lasted until March.
1210Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
Henry III (1216 - 1272)
1224London Fog
 From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report saying 'A London fog occurred while the Bishop of London was officiating in St. Paul's there came on suddenly such a thickness of the clouds and darkness of the sun, accompanied by thunder and lightening and a most foul stench, that the people departed, leaving only the bishop there with one attendant.'
1235Leopards at the Tower
 The Tower of London was home to a menagerie of exotic animals given to the monarchs of England as gifts. In this year three leopards were given to Henry III.
1236Wisbech Castle damaged by storm
 The town and castle at Wisbech were hit by a fierce storm.
1245Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
1250Qtr 4Earthquake shakes St. Albans Abbey
 Matthew Paris, the medieval historian, reported that an earthquake shook and damaged the church at St. Albans. Earthquakes are unusual in this area.
1262Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
1264Possible comet sighting
 From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report of the siting of a comet which was said to return every three hundred years. Rising from the east with more brightness than had ever been seen by a living person.
Edward I (1272 - 1307)
1275Earthquake destroys Tor church
 The church at the top of Glastonbury Tor was badly damaged by an earthquake.
1303Baltic Sea Freezes over
 There appears to be a mini ice age during this period (1303 and 1306-7) where the temperatures dropped so far that the Baltic Sea actually froze.
Edward II (1307 - 1327)
1311JanKatla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
Edward III (1327 - 1377)
1337JunA comet is seen over France
 A comet was seen in the skies of France and was viewed as a bad omen and that war was on the horizon.
1338AprA comet seen in Europe
 A second? comet trailing fire is seen in the skies over Europe.
1347The Black Death
 Kipchak Mongols besieging a Genoese trading centre on the Crimean coast catapulted their own dead into the city. The cause of death was a mysterious disease. The Genoese escaped by sea taking the 'Black Death' with them. They landed at Messina in Sicily. Bubonic plague, which the Black Death was, was spread by the rat flea. The name Black Death came from the colour of the swelling in the groin, armpit or neck. The person suffering went into a coma and dies soon after. In Europe an estimated 25 million people died. The plague reached Britain in 1348 and again in 1360 and the population may have been reduced by a half.
1348JunThe Plague reaches England
 The plague reached the shores of England first at Melcombe Regis in Dorset. By winter of the year, the plague had reached London.
 From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report saying 'during Lent, six days before Easter Sunday, there occurred an earthquake throughout the whole of England so great that the monks of Melsa were thrown so violently from their stalls that they all lay prostrate on the ground.'
Meaux Abbey hit by epidemic
 From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report saying 'Meaux Abbey suffered so severely that thirty-two monks, and seven conversi died, the majority being taken in the month of August.'
SummerThe Plague is at its peak
 The peak of the plague was reached in the summer of 1349. Estimates of a third of the population dying from the infection have been made but being accurate is very difficult.
1357Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano. Plus or minus three years.
1361Another outbreak of the plague
 Another outbreak of the plague takes its tool.
1362JanHurricane damages spire at Norwich
 A fierce storm or hurricane hit Britain and the spire at Norwich Cathedral fell. The spire damaged the presbytery as came down..
1369Again England is hit by the plague
 Another outbreak of the plague affects England.
Richard II (1377 - 1399)
1382May 21Earthquake
 An earthquake occurred somewhere in the Straits of Dover and was felt in southern England and in the Low Countries across the North Sea. The event happened during a meeting to condem the works of John Wycliffe.
Henry V (1413 - 1422)
1416Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
Henry VI (1422 - 1461)
1436DecSevere Frosts
 A severe winter in 1436-37 causes many deaths and hardship.
1437JanLondon bridge collapse
 The severe cold of this year caused a collapse at London Bridge. One of the piers that held a gate fell down taking some houses as well.
1440Katla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
Henry VII (1485 - 1509)
1504Feb 29A Lunar Eclipse saves Columbus
 Columbus had a book written by a German astronomer that predicted eclipses and he was able to use this information to trick the native Jamaicans. Columbus informed the leaders of the natives that God was not happy because they had stopped supplying the Spaniards with food and to prove this God would turn the moon blood red. This happens when the moon goes behind the Earth. When this event took place the natives were so afraid that they began supplying all the food that the Spaniards needed.
1508Sep 19Earthquake
 This earthquake was felt throughout Scotland and England.
Henry VIII (1509 - 1547)
 Londoners were affected by a wide-spread illness forcing Henry VIII and his court to move to countryside where they felt safer.
Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603)
1580AugKatla Volcano Eruption
 Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.
 Britain was affected by another outbreak of the plague.
1626FebPlague lessens
 The plague's affects had diminished in London
1633Apr 10Bananas first seen in England
 A banana tree was shipped from the Bahamas to by a Mr Johnson who put it in his shop.