Storm Event

'That upon Sunday & Munday the eighteenth & nineteenth days of December last past at the Change of the Moon & very height of the Spring Tyde there happened a violent Tempest of Wind which occasioned such an extraordinary & uncommon Flood that it broak down & washed away the Bank Rampets & Sea Fences in the said Towns & overflowed the greatest part of the Land lying there'

Severity ? 6


This event saw a violent overflowing of the sea along the north Wales coasts and Lancashire coasts (Hickey, 1997). Spring tide at the change of the moon combined with a storm lasting for two days with its violent tempest of westerly gale brings about this disastrous flood (The Floods of 1720).


The extraordinary flood break down and washed away the coastal defenses (bank rampets and sea fences) and overflowing the villages (The Floods of 1720).

Receptor and Consequence

Great losses were suffered in Lancashire as a result of this event. The village of Lytham were badly affected as long as surrounding farms. Coastal flooding also affected Cockerham, Pilling, and North Meols. The sea had overflowed more than 6,600 acres of land, washing down 157 houses and damaging more than 200 more (Beck, 1953). It was reported that 9 persons were drowned in North Meols and many more in Cockerham. The flood also flooded 15,000 acres of arable land as well as many cattle, sheep, household goods, crops and corn hay. The overall loss was amounted to be more than £10,227 (Beck, 1953). Money was raised in churches throughout England to relieve the situation.

Summary Table

Loss of life Many people were drowned in Cockerham, 9 persons drowned in North Meols.
Residential property Houses reported flooded: 30 in Cockerham, 40 in Pilling, 40 in Lytham, and 47 in North Meols. So overall 157 houses washed out and 200 more damaged. More than 6,600 acres of land were flooded.
Evacuation & Rescue *
Cost The whole loss were computed to be more than £10,227.
Ports *
Transport Roads and bridges were affected, including a public bridge in Great Crosby known as Far Moss Poole Bridge.
Energy *
Public services *
Water & wastewater *
Livestock Great number of cattle and ship were drowned.
Agricultural land More than 15,000 acres of productive farmland were damaged by seawater. Crops were destroyed.
Coastal erosion *
Natural environment *
Cultural heritage *
Coastal defences Sea banks were breached and the River Alt floodgates were broken.

*No known sources of information available


  1. Hickey, K. R. (1997). Documentary records of coastal storms in Scotland, 1500-1991 A.D. Coventry University. Available at:
  2. The Floods of 1720. (no date). Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, England. Available at: (Accessed: 27 June 2019).
  3. Beck, Joan. (1953). The Church Brief for the Inundation of the Lancashire Coast in 1720. Available at: (Accessed: 27 June 2019).