(Kentish Gazette 17.7.1829 back page col.4):
On Tuesday last the City and the neighbouring towns and ports were visited with a storm accompanied by thunder and lightning of a more destructive nature than has been experienced for a considerable number of years. In the afternoon the rain fell in torrents ……. the lightning was remarkably vivid and forked; and the thunder rolled along the heavens in loud and lengthened peals…… along the coast they have been severely felt.
At Dover the oldest inhabitant never witnessed a more dreadful storm. One peal of thunder was said to have continued unbroken for 35 minutes. The rain appeared to fall as one sheet of water and penetrated almost every house in the town. In the market place the water was actually four feet deep. Hailstones of extraordinary size fell with the rain, averaging from one to 1 ½” in length and in some instances 2 ½”.
At the King’s Arms Library, 46 panes of glass were broken, at Mr SQUIRE’s 25, and at the Ship Hotel 106 were destroyed; many other houses suffered in a lesser degree. A field of barley and a field of wheat on the western side of Dover Castle Hill, belonging to Mr William PRESCOTT of Guston, were literally swept away by the torrent which rushed down from the Heights. The loss is estimated between £300 and £400. Nearly an entire crop of turnips belonging to Mr John COLEMAN of The Priory was washed from the hills into the valleys.The water forced its way down into the back of the Priory house, and gained an outlet through the parlour windows. It also collected to a considerable height in Buckland; and a fire-ball fell in a field belonging to Mr KINGSFORD of that place.
At Folkestone the storm was seen advancing rapidly across the Channel, from the French coast and electric fluid which was occasionally discharged presented a most terrific appearance. Its effects were more severely felt here than in any place in Kent.
The lightning struck the spire of the church which it shivered to atoms, and made three extensive apertures in the roof of the edifice, through which the rain poured as from a water spout. Two bathing machines upon the beach were both totally destroyed – the top of a windmill the property of Mr SUTTON of Dover, and in occupation of Mr CADMAN, was carried away, the iron pivot resembled molten lead. One of the swifts was forced to a distance of 50 feet from the mill. This property is insured in the Norwich Union office, the damage is estimated at £500.
Two window sashes were forced from their frames at the Rose Inn and in other parts of the house 20 panes of glass were broken. The injury done to the beautiful garden of Mr HOLMANS is estimated as £300, about 120 squares of glass were demolished. The family are at this time at Brussels. (continued over page)..
Several boats lying high on the beach, before the storm, were driven out to sea and many entirely lost. One of the Folkestone boats with three men named DICKSON, PILCHER and TAYLOR was at sea, the fury of the storm upset her and we lament to add that DICKSON and PILCHER met a watery grave. TAYLOR was providentially saved.
We have not space to enter more at length into the losses sustained by the inhabitants of Folkestone by this dire visitation which has been so generally felt. Several thousand panes of glass are said to have been demolished and scarcely one person to have escaped without injury to his property in a greater or lesser degree.
At Hythe one of the hailstones found on the Heights of 2 ½” long and measured 5″ in circumference; between 300 and 400 panes of glass were broken. The thunder at Deal was of very long duration and the lightning appeared of a blood red colour.
(same column, lower down under Dover July 16):
On Tuesday last this town and neighbourhood was visited by a most tremendous storm of wind, hail, rain, lightning and thunder. The storm came on about 4 o’clock from the westward and continued with unabated fury
for half an hour, spreading devastation and destruction around us. The thunder was not in long interrupted peals but maintained itself from the commencement in continual roar, resembling the discharge of cannon of the largest calibre. The flashes of lightning were vivid in the extreme and a ball of fire was observed to fall into the sea opposite the Marine Parade.
Torrents of rain unprecedented fell in immense shoots, overflowing the roads and streets and inundating cellars and other parts of houses in low situations but the hailstones for size beat everything of the sort seen here; many were taken up as large as marbles, some as large as pigeon’s eggs and here and there as large as small hen eggs. The mischief done to skylights, the glass of hothouses and greenhouses was almost incalculable, to say nothing of panes cracked and broken in all parts of the town.
A singular circumstance took place at Calais, but the storm did not rage so violently as at Dover – the vessels in the harbour were lying perfectly dry and in the course of a minute the tide rose 5 or 6 feet and it was with great difficulty that some shipwrights employed on a stage repairing the sides of a large London steam vessel could save themselves by getting on board.”
(Dover Telegraph 25.6.1836 p.8 col.2):
Severe storm, 50 sheep killed by lightning (Mr Richd COLEMAN at Langdon Abbey), 2 horses killed at Swingfield Minnis (Mr DANIELS, Tellingham Farm); Barn/stack destroyed at Kingston (Mr BROOKES at Marley Farm)
(Dover Telegraph Dec 3 1836 back page col.1 and col.4: Hurricane 29.11.1836)
HURRICANE, Tuesday last, Dover, River etc. Reports from different places, damage £1000 at Dane Court estate of Edward RICE Esq. Damage Deal/Thanet, Waldershare, and continent. Column of reports, damage at Canterbury, Wingham, Feversham, Ramsgate, Margate, Eastry (Dover Telegraph 3 Dec 1836 p.8, cols 1 and col.4)
John SHIPDEM Esq., Dover – Hurricane on Tuesday – stack of chimneys fell through skylight of house
(Dover Telegraph 3.12.1836 p.8 col.1)
(Dover Telegraph 13 Feb 1847 page 4 col.4): Reports of snow storm.
Richard AUSTIN fisherman – inquest – drowned off Hastings. Accidental Death
(Dover Telegraph 15 Jul 1837 p.8 col.4)
– Subscription opened for widow and six children (D.Tel 8 Jul 1837 p.8 col.2)
Showing Priory Road in the snow, about 1965
(Kentish Gazette Feb 29th, 1820 back page) – Reports strong gales, ships sheltering at local ports near Dover.
(Kentish Gazette March 3rd,1820): Reports of heavy gales and thick falls of snow at Dover. Damage to ships. Houses unroofed, chimneys blown down, ships’ anchors and cables lost. Doubts entertained for the safety of some of the ships which sailed yesterday from Deal. A ship reported with all masts gone.
(Kentish Gazette March 7th 1820): Effects of the tremendous storm on Thursday last. NNW winds and high tides, houses flooded; eight vessels on coast between Whitstable and Reculver. Destruction among fishing smacks and small craft. Upwards of 60 vessels on shore on the French coast between Dunkirk and Etaples, many of which are totally lost. Crews in a state of misery and distress, they are frost-nipped and worn out with fatigue. More vessels lost. Vessels ashore on Goodwin Sands, reported March 2nd and crews have perished. Reported at Dover March 5th: Many ships with loss of anchors and cables arrived. List includes the “George” of Sandwich. On March 6th a brig belonging to Sandwich, coal laden, with only and old man and boy on board, name of brig not given, was towed into Newhaven. Arrived Dover (?) towed by Deal boatmen, the schooner “Dolphin” of Sandwich.
EARTHQUAKES in Kent:
Apr 6 1580 at Hythe;
Sep 8 1692 at Deal;
Feb 18 1756 in East Kent
8 Jan 1776 Canterbury and E.Kent (Canterbury flooded)
(“Romansgate in Thanet” by Finn page 35)
Goodwin Sands, reported March 2nd and crews have perished. Reported at Dover March 5th: Many ships with loss of anchors and cables arrived. List includes the “George” of Sandwich. On March 6th a brig belonging to Sandwich, coal laden, with only and old man and boy on board, name of brig not given, was towed into Newhaven. Arrived Dover (?) towed by Deal boatmen, the schooner “Dolphin” of Sandwich.