Filed under natural disasters

Light Ship, Bristol

Light ships were towed into places where it was too difficult to build lighthouses. I was told the one on Bristol was the last one but in previous posts I have shown them in Cardiff & Swansea. This one is the clubhouse for Bathurst Basin boat club

Lessons from a Landslide

This is an event published on 11 November 1773 in the Bath Chronicle announcing the publication of an account which I cannot make sense of. Is this a minor tsunami? “A dreadful phenomenon described and approved being a particular account of the sudden stoppage of the River Severn and of the terrible desolation that happened … Continue reading

Hamilton’s Vesuvius

Sir William Hamilton is famous for being cuckolded by his wife who fell for Nelson, but he was Britain’s envoy in Naples for several decades and was a great investigator of nearby Vesuvius and collector of antiquities. He commissioned an amazing machine, an example of multimedia long before the term was coined, that demonstrated the … Continue reading

Antarctic and Volcanoes

One of the most important pieces of research in the Antarctic has been the analysis of ice cores which has enabled scientists to piece together the past 2,000 years, and in particular, the number of large volcanic eruptions, via the presence of sulphate dust. This is from an article by Steve Connor in the i … Continue reading

Britain’s Atlantis

In 1932 a fishing trawler in the North Sea dredged up a piece of peat. Weapons and bones were subsequently brought up with deep sea trawling. Research since then has uncovered a hidden land just below the surface, and even lion and mammoths have been found there. This rich and diverse landscape is now called … Continue reading

Lisbon Earthquake, 1755

Halloween has become a holiday based upon the celebration of All Saint’s Day, 1 November, which was established to make church services manageable. For many centuries, people had left money in their wills to say prayers for their souls on the anniversary of the day that they died, but these prayers became so numerous and … Continue reading

A Shipwreck

This is from the journal of Sir Henry de la Beche, pioneer of geological surveys and heir to a plantation in Jamaica, as edited by Richard Morris, one of his descendants . Henry was about ten when he and his mother  were returning from a visit to their property in 1800, As it was war … Continue reading

Plague Years

The word ‘plague’ tends to summon up images of Biblical times, or Middle Ages, as most people don’t realise that the illness, or at least the bacterial that causes it,  has never died out.  as the bug is still present in parts of Asia,  and scientists are now warning that it may come back, with … Continue reading

Water and Power

One of the key ideas Steven Mithin discusses in his book Thirst, Water & Power in the Ancient World, is whether powerful people in the ancient world controlled water access or whether access to water supplies made people powerful. Given that the first civilizations arose in the Middle East, a region constantly plagued by water … Continue reading

A Journey Through Hell

Once in a while I come across a story of a sea voyage that makes me wonder why men ever went to sea. This is one of them, and I would not be surprised if all the survivors stayed on dry land after this.  This is from the age of English sailing when there were … Continue reading