A History of Gloucestershire Weather

Our Dogs, Bob and Pula in the Gloucestershire frostAs we’ve slipped into another spell of unseasonal freezing weather with snow and ice, we thought it would be interesting to look at some of the weather events that have shaped the county through the years and how the prevailing weather systems from the southwest affect aspects of Gloucestershire life. Of course, it would not be as green or as beautiful without its fair share of rain, but just as the spring lambs are huddling under hedgerows during this cold snap, within days they could be having running races with their friends, bouncing, and pouncing over hillocks in the warmth of the sun.

Gloucestershire Weather History

Along with other counties in the south west of the United Kingdom, Gloucestershire receives its fair share of winter storms from the Atlantic coasts. A legendary tempest that occurred on November 26th 1703, wreaked havoc and caused extensive damage to Gloucester Cathedral. The lead church roof levitated into the air and there was mass destruction of mature old trees at Kingscote.

Knowledge of these climatic extremes across the British nation particularly temperature, depends mostly on the extensive Central England temperature records which began in 1659. Gloucestershire made daily contributions to the weather records thanks to the due diligence of a Stroud apothecary. Weather events were frequently reported in the press and in the 22nd June 1724 edition of the “Gloucester Journal”, readers were advised of the dangers bad weather could bring. They reported that in Stow-on-the-Wold two men and a dog were sitting under a bush when one man was killed by a flash of lightening and the other died later of his terrible wounds. Of the dog, there was no mention, so he could have had a lucky escape.

Other famous Gloucestershire weathermen include Dr Edward (Ted) Wilson who was from Cheltenham and principal scientist on Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. IT was Ted’s job to record weather observations. John Canton FRS was the pioneer in thunderstorm and lightening electricity studies and was born in Gloucestershire.

However, Gloucestershire’s place in the meteorological history of the United Kingdom was confirmed during World War II when the Meteorological Office undertook a secret evacuation to Wycliffe College, Stonehouse. Here in Wycliffe’s great hall, activities vital to the war effort were performed. The Royal Navy’s mapping of sea currents and ice extents, calibration and supply of meteorological instruments and climatological record keeping took place in Wycliffe’s science laboratory and the hall from 1939 until the summer of 1945.

Memorable Weather Extremes

For lovers of hot summers you may be interested to know that Cheltenham recorded the hottest temperature in the UK with a staggering 37.1C in August 1990. This record was held up until 2003 when 38.5C was recorded near Faversham Kent.

There was a great deal of drama during the floods of July 2007, in particular around Tewkesbury, which experienced the worst summer floods since 1886.

December 1981 brought extremely heavy snowfall meaning a visitor to the county could not travel home. Instead, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was forced unexpectedly to stay in Chipping Sodbury at the Cross Hands Hotel.

The Good News

Cooks Green Cottage in the snowThe good news is that whatever the weather, you are assured of a warm welcome at Cooks Green Cottage where our beautiful holiday cottage is prepared for every season offering a beautiful roaring fore for cold and rainy days and a tree lined garden to shelter under in the hot sunshine. Spring time from March through to May often offers some wonderful warm days when the spring flowers such as daffodils, crocus, hyacinth are blooming and blossom is appearing on the apple and cherry tress. The countryside is so pretty with the renewal of the season and you will find lots of baby animals on your country walks and explorations.

There is plenty of space in the cottage to kick off your wellies or sandals and hang your coats or sun hats when you come inside from the weather. Fully equipped with all conveniences you could desire to cope with the outside conditions, we pride ourselves on being a real home from home giving a taste of rural Gloucestershire life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.