449 years ago today (5th Oct 1571), a major coastal flood impacted the coasts of Lincolnshire and Kent

Exactly 449 years ago today, a major coastal flood impacted the coasts of Lincolnshire and Kent. The village of Sutton-on-Sea was greatly affected by this disaster, where the church and a large part of the village were destroyed. The flooding also led to the loss of ‘all the saltcotes where the best salt was made’. Furthermore, the gale and flood killed 20,000 cattle and sheep, destructed buildings and bridges, and wrecked many ships. There were many ships that lost anchor and travelled inland, causing further destruction to the houses and buildings. At Kingston-on-Hull, the tides of the river Humber rise so high that the residents had to escape to the upper rooms.

The inscription on the bell in Chapel St Leonards Village Green, Lincolnshire, mention this flood event. At that time Chapel St Leonards was known as Mumby Chapel. Raphael Hollinshed’s Chronicles of Englande, Scotlande and Irelande (1577) recorded the disaster as follow:

‘In Mumby Chapell the whole towne was lost except three houses. A shippe was driven upon a house; the sailors thinking they had bin upon a rocke, committed themselves to God and three of the mariners lept out of the shippe and chaunced to tek holde on the house-toppe and so saved themselves; the wife of the same lying in childbed climbe uppe into the toppe of the house and was also saved by the mariners, her husband and child being both drowned.’

Three centuries later in 1863, this event inspired Jean Ingelow to write her best-known poem ‘High Tide in Lincolshire 1571’.

You can read more details about the event here.