this heart's on fire (zeteticism) wrote in little_details,
this heart's on fire
zeteticism
little_details

Winter climate in the late medieval UK

Alright, so, I'm aware of the Little Ice Age, and also aware of the Medieval Warm Period, and the speculation as to when the LIA truly began or truly began to impact climates. And I'm aware that England currently has a fairly mild winter climate (and according to accounts from friends, getting steadily milder). But after much frustrated poking around on the internet, I'm having a difficult time determining what the snowpack, if any, would have looked like in the UK around the 1450's. I've gotten vague references to the Thames having frozen over, and England having a 'heavy' snowfall DURING the Little Ice Age, but, uh, because that time frame is so broad and because I'm not sure whether the use of 'heavy' might be relative, I'm leery about saying, 'well, there we go! The Thames froze once sometime between the late 1200's and early 1700's so that means EVERYWHERE was an ice cube! :D! Onward to conquest!' Personal accounts are scanty, and proper instrument records for this kind of thing began in the 1660's. My backup strategy of taking a look at medieval art and seeing whether that offers any reference has also proven more than a little disappointing -- most of the paintings date from the early Renaissance, or are relevant to other European countries.

The best I've really come up with thus far is a chronological weather history of the British Isles located here (which might help someone else out, as it seems to be reasonably comprehensive insofar as specifics for years and the vast period of time it covers).

So. That said, can anyone help me out here in determining what the snowfall -- if any -- would look like for the UK circa 1450? Maybe I'm just going at it from the wrong angle.

Much obliged. :)
Tags: 1400-1499, uk: history: middle ages, ~climate/weather
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