Friday, April 28, 2017

Rocking and rolling: Cornwall's biggest earthquakes revealed

Unlike earthquake hotspots like Japan and San Francisco, Cornwall is not exactly renowned for its rocking and rolling.
After it was revealed this week that Gweek has more seismic action than much of the rest of the UK, Cornwall Live decided to take a look back through history for some of the biggest tremors to have struck Cornwall.
Although happily there have been no recorded injuries or deaths across the Duchy from a quake, there have certainly been some memorable incidents dating back nearly 800 years.

Here are eight of the biggest earthquakes recorded in Cornish history:

September 11th, 1275

The earliest recorded earthquake to be felt across Cornwall, it caused damage to the priory church at St Michael's Mount.
The same tremors also damaged Glastonbury Abbey and destroyed the Church situated on top of the tor in the Somerset village. There are reports of several houses and churches being destroyed across England in the same incident.
The earthquake's epicentre is believed to have been near Swansea in South wales, and it is thought to have been the largest earthquake to have hit the British Isles in recorded history.

July 15th, 1757

This earthquake was felt right across Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, and was thought to have an epicentre near Penzance. No significant damage was recorded, although books were thrown from shelves as far afield as Anglesey in North Wales.

August 10th, 1783

Centred on Launceston, this quake was strong enough to ring the church bell at Kelly near Egloshayle.

February 17th, 1842

An earthquake map of Cornwall, showing the hotspot near Gweek and Constantine
The epicentre for the earthquake was near Constantine, and it was felt widely in western Cornwall, where people reportedly
fled their houses in alarm and a book fell from a shelf.

August 12th, 1852

A news report from the time stated: "On Thursday, last week, at about twenty minutes before eight in the morning, a shock of
an earthquake was felt at Liskeard, and in other parts of that district for fifteen or twenty miles around. There was a loud
rumbling sound, which appeared to travel from north to south, and a very perceptible vibration of the walls of houses, causing
in some places portions of the plastering fell off.
"At Callington, Linkinhorne, Looe, Plymouth, Tavistock, Launceston, and Bodmin the phenomenon was observable; in some places
the vibration was such that persons jumped out of their beds, and in other instances, caught up their children in alarm, and
ran with them out of their homes. Some persons thought that a distant explosion of gunpowder had taken place. The phenomenon
lasted six or eight seconds, and it is stated that some of the miners underground in the Caradon mines were much alarmed by
"Our Camelford correspondent states that on Wednesday night, about eleven o'clock, that town was visited by one of the most
tremendous storms of thunder, lightning, and rain, that had ever been witnessed by the inhabitants. The storm continued until
about two o'clock on Thursday morning, and between seven and eight o'clock the earthquake was felt.
People describe the sound accompanying it as like that of a very heavily laden waggon passing through the street, and shaking
the houses on both sides. Persons who were in houses say that the earthenware and glass in the cupboards shook and struck
against each other so as to be distinctly heard.
At Bodmin, the rooms, windows, and doors of houses were shaken, with a noise at the same time."

October 21st, 1859 and January 13th, 1860

Two earthquakes in relatively quick succession centred on Truro, both of which were felt across a wide area of Cornwall.
Although both quakes were felt at mines across the Duchy, no significant damage was reported in either incident.

May 31st, 2001

The seismograph recording of the 2001 earthquake off Bude
The quake's epicentre was in the Bristol Channel, 25 miles west of Bude, and its effects were felt across Cornwall and Devon. The police received more than 40 calls from worried residents between 12.45am and 1.30am, with a rumbling noise accompanying the shaking, which lasted for up to 15 seconds.
There were no injuries reported, but some structural damage to buildings was recorded.

You may also like:

No comments :

Post a Comment