Peter Ostle kept a journal of life in the 19th century in North Cumbria (Beckfoot/Mawbray - Solway Plain Cumbria) see website for full history of his family. I have selected the various weather related items putting them in chronological order. These slide nicely into the Bowness-on-Solway "Log Book" entries (below), Bowness being approximately 15 miles north. Therefore we have here more than 60 years worth of local weather.
1859 March 8th
The ground is about one foot thick with snow and hare frost. John Ostle, Border, Abbey Holme.
This summer is very droughty it is worse than 1826 although we have some rain nearly every week the
showers are so little it scarcely lays the dust. Dry sandy land is as yellow as an orange burnt and droughted up no grass at all.
1860 Feb 29th
Snow storm. Snow about two or three inches thick a little frost and a day or two before a gale of wind.
At Nook two stack's tops blown off and a quantity of tiles and, at Beckfoot, a barn, stable and piggery blown nearly
level with the ground. It belonged to Mrs Elizabeth Hayton of Beckfoot.
1860 May 20th
A very heavy wind and storm, rain and snow. The fells are covered with snow to a good thickness some two or three feet.
There was snow on Rosley Hill that morning it being Rosley first fair day.
Very hard frost three inch thick in one night.
Charles Farrar was drowned in Moor Combey in a small boat among the ice bergs, he lived at Solway house three years a gentleman.
1861 February 11th
Snow lying white upon the ground with hard frost. Wind East and very cold.
Wind blowing in fair hurricane on Saturday 9 about 140 vessels sailed out of Whitehaven harbour
in one tide many lost, crew and all, some stranded some gone on shore in Ireland some in the Isle
of Man one life boat. The Whitby life boat capsised and twelve men drowned out of thirteen.
They saved the crews of four vessels and when proceeding for the crew of the fifth they were drowned.
1861 March 4th
Wind blowing from NW and very cold some flecks of snow lying upon the ground and a little frost.
Criffel white, Skidaw white also with snow. March came in like a lion and gone out like a lamb. April and May very dry.
June dry. July wet and showery.
Weather very stormy, heavy winds and large floods. Fields all covered with water. Different times there
was the most water upon the ground since the memory of the oldest man in the holme.
The floods they have done a great deal of damage in many places I think it was nearest the flood in the days of Noah.
1861 Dec 5th
Showery nearly throughout. January frosty with showers. February very mild and like Spring.
March the first day very fine and ther next hard frost then snow the three next and then the wind
began to blow with .... rains and snow. Wind NW and the remainder changeable.
Very wet. Rain every day less or more. All through July very wet the land all in a flood.
Hay very full in general. Some rain every day up to the seventeenth of July.
Very few turnips thinned yet. About a week's fine weather rather windy. 24th July wet and windy.
August very wet every day great floods, scarce one dry day in a week.
1862 October 26th
A very heavy wind. It blew a hurricane many trees are rooted up Many broken. Stacks blown over.
Some tops blown off houses. Roof blown off Mawbray school house and blown down.
Just split and the outside fell. Much harm done at sea. Near every day wet and stormy.
Begun very wet and then cleared up and set in frost. Very hard frost some snow or sleet,
some snow and then frost. Roads very slape, some places where people may slide upon them.
1862 December 1st
Very frosty did not remain long. Set in wet the rest of the month. Every day or every other very wet and stormy.
1864 April 1st
Very stormy and wild. A very heavy fall of snow. The ground was all white with snow
the largest loads of snow I ever saw that I remember. John Ostle Nook 1864.
Very droughty, the water courses are all dry. August some small showers at the latter end
of this month, still there is no water on the ground, all the wells are near dry. We pump ours
dry every day at Nook and scarcely enough for home use and the cattle. Ponds are all dried up.
Hard frost and snow. February Frosty with snow; on the 10th it lay as well - most snow we have
had for many years. March Cold but fine weather near the end. April Nice weather and dry until
near the end then very cold. May came in very cold with east winds until the middle then fine until the end.
There was a flood, all low ground covered on the Holme fair day and the day before.
1865 June 8th
Some heavy showers, still the ground is very dry. June 16 Some showers and one hail shower very heavy.
Then cold and dry. 20th Terrible hot until the 30th rather colder and a very heavy shower.
1865 July 1st
No rain of any moment. Very hot some thunder. One crack of thunder was so near it came before
the lightning was out of sight. The nearest I ever heard. There were hailstones in Carlisle half an
ounce in weight and tremendous heavy rain then fine weather. August commenced rather showery.
I saw the cuckoo August 1st. I never saw it so late before.
1865 August 24th
A terrible thunder storm and hail shower which did little damage to anything but corn.
The hail battered about a feed out of some near Brayton Gilcrux. No damage in the Holme.
We have had a very wet, slattery harvest up to Sept 8. I think the weather is going to take up now much better if it does.
January very frosty, some rain and cold. Feb very wet at first then fine. March very hard frost
from near the first until the middle. Frost yet.
1867 March 19th
Very hard frost with snow showers. Most awful cold with a strong East Wind
We have had a very wet spring, uncommon wet. We have had another daughter born on May 26 1868 called Rachel.
It was Holme fair day. It blew a fair hurricane that day then on Saturday. Before there was not much rain but the
wind dried it all up and very little rain since. I think three small showers between 23rd of May and 23rd of July 1868.
Another small shower, no better than a duck. No more rain until August 11. A heavy shower in the morning, some
on the fore noon then, after noon, some thunder and lightning and a very heavy rain. This has been a dryer summer
than 1826 by all accounts. Such heavy winds and hot.
January heavy rain with heavy winds. On the 31st day of January there was a very high tide, the highest there has been
for forty years. King Street, Maryport was two feet deep with water. February has begun very rough. Windy with rain.
Two or three mild days then wind and rain. (28) Snow showers all day. Very cold and windy. Sale at Beckfoot Dales
that cast up on the sea shore. April fine. May very cold. June very warm, very little rain.
Near the far end of June there was snow on the fells. It laid for many days.
1869 Aug 20th
Weather very fine and has been for a week. We are going to house a field of oats that was cut with the machine.
Some made into sheaves and some so short we could not sheaf it, so we stack it like hay. (Aug 29) Hard frost.
It blackened the potato tops. There was ice. Very droughty, land dry as ever.
1869 Nov 11th
Being Martinmas Sunday. There was the most water or rain on that morning since I came to New Cooper.
Wild ducks I saw swimming in the meadow. (Dec 9) Hard frost. Hardest we have had for some years. Now snow again, awful wild and wet.
Deep snow. 12 in deep, awful cold. February cold and frosty. March came in like a lion, wild and rough.
1870 Aug 20th
Very nice shower last night, it laid the dust. Then very droughty. (Aug 28) More rain, nice showers. This summer has
been as droughty as last while it lasted. It was longer starting and sooner over but awful severe. Grass done on dry land.
No fog Clover or Meadow.
March Frosty. April showery. May very cold, east winds. Hard frost May 17th, Ice as thick as a penny piece.
Potato tops all frozen. Oats frozen. Joshua Bigland's barn at Saltcoats burned down in April. June Very dry weather.
Grass and everything nearly burned up and cold east winds. Turnips very poor.
1871 June 23rd
Hard frost, potato tops frozen to the ground in moss land, then some rain, heavy showers until July.
First of July very showery. Slow hay weather and hay very light. The Barnacle Goose is still alive, caught in 1843.
August wet and showery and then about ten days very fine. 18th Thunder and rain. Corn cutting 18th.
Wheat very light, oats and barley fair average. September fine. October showery. November stormy. December frosty then wet and wild.
June and July wet and thundery. The most thunder we have heard for many years. A very middling hay time.
Hay plentiful. Harvest is very wet, corn grown in the stook green. Two wet days for one dry. September rain near
every day, beck and gutters near brim full.
Wild and wet on the third day of January there was thunder and lightning and hail. Awful day.
Dark, dull summer. Lea hay time very tedious. Meadow hay I may say worse. Aug 19 hay cocks in the meadows near
half way up with water. I never saw more water in the meadows neither summer nor winter.
In March 1886 there was a great fall of snow and on the 2nd and 3rd there was a heavy wind it blew the snow
into drifts six and seven feet thick on the road. Traffic stopped. Railways blocked. Sheep had no feed on the land.
We have three ewes with two lambs a piece. We feed them in a house with turnips and corn and hay.
Winter yet (April 9) Ground covered with snow.
John Ostle died on May 7th., 1890 at New Cowper
Bowness-on-Solway "Log Book".
Bowness-on-Solway School (North Cumbria UK) "LOG BOOK" Headmaster Mr. T. Atkinson who taught there for 37 years.
(Clicking on the links below will bring up the synoptic chart for the day in question.)
25th March 1887"Snowing heavily this morning..."
29th January 1895"Deep cover of snow this morning."
6th February 1895 "Morning - heavy fall of snow, Afternoon - a snowstorm, unprecedented almost, is raging" 7th February "School closed today on account of the snowstorm"
5th December 1895 "Very stormy morning."
6th December 1895 "Storm still continues."
6th February 1899 "A snowstorm is raging this morning..."
12th December 1899 "A very heavy fall of snow during the night."
21st December 1899 "Still very cold and snow on the ground."
9th February 1900 "Closed the school on account of the very heavy snowstorm." 12th February 1900 "School closed for a week on account of the snowstorm."
20 December 1900 "Very stormy."
9th January 1901 "Covering of snow this morning."
25th January 1901 "Very stormy morning."
25th March 1901 "Very cold."
24th May 1901 "Weather has been very warm and dry for some weeks."
12th December 1901 "Very wet and stormy."
10th February 1902 "There is a thick cover of snow this morning."
6th January 1903 "Very wet and stormy."
27th February 1903 "Window at the west end if the school blown in by the wind...several slates have been blown off and some of the spouting."
21st November 1904 "A heavy snowstorm is in progress."
22nd November 1904 "Snow which is very deep and blocks the roads."
6th April 1905 "A bitterly cold morning."
7th April 1905 "A thick cover of snow this morning."
23rd October 1905 "The weather has been and is very cold."
28th November 1905 "The weather is very stormy and snow is falling this morning."
12th February 1907 "9 am There has been a heavy fall of snow during the night and it is still snowing."
20th February 1907 "Very stormy weather. A heavy fall of snow during the night."
13th November 1907 "The wind is very violent this morning."
28th February 1908 "A heavy fall of snow has blocked the roads."
28th May 1908 "The heat is very great today."
2nd March 1909 "Cover of snow this morning - The snow was so deep at noon today that the little ones had to carried to their homes."
1st November 1909 "It is a very cold, frosty morning."
24th January 1910 "Cover of snow this morning."
26th January 1910 "The weather is very cold and frosty and the temperature registered 32 degrees F. in the school this morning."
27th January 1910 "There is a thick cover of snow this morning."
28th January 1910 "Snow is falling and a very cold wind blowing this morning."
21st November 1910 "Slight covering of snow this morning."
23rd February 1911 "Very wet and stormy morning."
25th/26th November 1912 "Very wet and stormy."
3rd February 1913 "Very stormy."
18th March 1915 "A violent snowstorm is raging this morning." 19th March 1915 "Roads are almost impassable on account of the snow."
15th November 1915 "Very cold morning - since this morning there has been a heavy fall of snow."
22nd November 1915 "The cold weather continues and snow and ice abound." 10th December 1915 "The roads are almost impassable owing to the melting snow or slush."
2nd February 1917 "The weather is and has been for some time very cold."
15th January 1918 "Weather is bitterly cold this morning and the roads are almost impassable on account of ice."
19th January 1918 "A heavy fall of snow."
28th February 1918 "Very stormy morning the weather is still very wild and snowy."
12th November 1919 "A snowstorm is raging this morning."
3rd December 1920 "A most violent storm of wind is raging this morning - some slates blown off and one of the windows damaged."
16th January 1922 "There is a thick cover of snow this morning."
6th July 1922 "A very severe storm of wind and rain."
13th December 1937 - The roads are deeply covered with snow.
19th January 1940 - Extremely cold, snow.
29th January 1940 - Owing to heavy snow over the weekend the surrounding roads are blocked.
21st January 1942 - The weather continues severe with frost and heavy snow.
10th December 1942 - Extensive floods due to exceptional high tides caused by stormy weather.
13th March 1947 - As a result of a severe blizzard no children were able to reach school today.
14th March 1947 - All roads blocked by snow.
17th March 1947 - No buses running.