Storm Event

"Several of the buildings of the same town were submerged and blotted out."

Severity ? 6


Gottschalk (1971) reported of a particularly violent period around the end of 1987 and the beginning of 1288. This event is likely to have coincided with a spring tide.


Dykes were broken and breached from Appledore to Winchelsea. The River Thames broke its banks, covering a larger area than any person could recall (Britton, 1937).

Receptor and Consequence

This event is associated with widespread consequences across the southern coast of England, including Thanet, Romesey and the Thames Estuary (Lamb, 1977). The effect of the flood was felt on other North Sea coasts, with a death toll estimated at 50,000-80,000 across the Netherlands and Flanders (Doe Villages far from the River Thames flooded, some of the ‘swallowed up’ by the force of the water. Surrounding fields were flooded and innumerable men and cattle were drowned. Spalding’s monastery was damaged by the deep flood waters and building in Yarmouth were ‘blotted out’ (Britton, 1937).

Summary Table

Loss of life Estimated 50,000-80,000 people drowned across Europe
Residential property Villages were ‘swallowed up’ as low-lying land was inundated
Evacuation & Rescue *
Cost *
Ports *
Transport *
Energy *
Public services *
Water & wastewater *
Livestock Numerous sheep and cattle perished
Agricultural land Valuable farmland inundated
Coastal erosion *
Natural environment *
Cultural heritage Monastery in Spalding damaged
Coastal defences Dykes demolished from Appledore to Winchelsea

*No known sources of information available


  1. Gottschalk M. K. E. (1971). Stormvloeden En Riveroverstromingen In Nederland Deel 1- De Period Voor 1400. Assen: Van Gorcum.
  2. Britton C. E. (1937). ‘A Meteorological Chronology To A.D. 1450’. Geophysical Memoirs, 70. London: H. M. Stationary Office. 177pp.
  3. Lamb, H. H. (1977). Climate. Past, Present and Future: Volume 2 – Climatic History and the Future. London: Metheum, 835pp.