List of earthquakes in the British Isles

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The following is a list of notable earthquakes that have been detected in the British Isles. On average, several hundred earthquakes are detected by the British Geological Survey each year, but almost all are far too faint to be felt by humans. Those that are felt generally cause very little damage. Nonetheless, earthquakes have on occasion resulted in considerable damage, most notably in 1580 and 1884; Musson (2003) reports that there have been ten documented fatalities – six caused by falling masonry and four by building collapse. The causes of earthquakes in the UK are unclear, but may include "regional compression caused by motion of the Earth’s tectonic plates, and uplift resulting from the melting of the ice sheets that covered many parts of Britain thousands of years ago."[2]

Earthquakes[edit]

Pre-18th century[edit]

Date Epicentre M_L Notes
00 Jan 974 England [3][1]
1 May 1048 English Midlands, England Felt in Worcester, Warwick and Derby.[1]
4 July 1060 England [1]
22 April 1076 England Also felt in France and Denmark.[1]
11 August 1089 England [1]
28 August 1119 Western England [1]
25 July 1122 Somerset and Gloucestershire, England [1]
5 December 1129 England [1]
4 August 1133 England [1]
1 May 1158 England [1]
26 January 1165 East Anglia, England [1]
25 April 1180 Nottinghamshire, England [4]
15 April 1185 Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England Lincoln Cathedral badly damaged.[1]
00 Jan 1199 Scotland [1]
23 April 1228 England [1]
1 June 1246 Canterbury, Kent, England [5]
13 February 1247 London, England [6]
20 February 1247 Wales 5.5~5.5 Damage to St David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.[1]
21 December 1248 South West England Wells Cathedral reported to have been badly damaged.[1]
11 September 1275 Southern England In Glastonbury, the Abbey was damaged and the Church of St. Michael on the Torr Hill destroyed,[1] as was the priory church on St Michael's Mount in Cornwall.[7]
4 January 1299 South East England Felt in Kent and Middlesex; may have caused the collapse of St Andrew's Church in Hitchin.[1]
21 May 1318 England [1]
28 March 1343 Eastern England Felt in Lincolnshire.[1]
27 March 1349 Eastern England Felt in Beverley, Yorkshire.[1]
21 May 1382 Canterbury, Kent, England 5.8~5.8 The bell tower of the cathedral was "severely damaged" and the six bells "shook down". Cloister walls to the Canterbury dormitory were ruined. In Kent, All Saints Church, West Stourmouth, was badly damaged. Felt in London and lent its name to the "Earthquake Synod."[1]
24 May 1382 Canterbury, Kent, England 5.0~5.0 Aftershock of 21 May earthquake.[1]
28 December 1480 Norfolk, England [1]
19 September 1508 North Sea Felt in England and Scotland. Recent studies suggest that this earthquake may have been as large as magnitude 7.0, with the epicentre in fact in the area northwest of Scotland.[8]
00 Jul 1534 North Wales, Wales 4.5~4.5 Felt in Dublin, Ireland.[1]
25 May 1551 Croydon, Greater London, England [9]
26 February 1575 West Midlands, England 5.0~5.0 Felt as far apart as York and Bristol.[1]
6 April 1580 Strait of Dover, England 5.8~5.8 First recorded fatality. See Dover Straits earthquake of 1580.[1]
1 May 1580 Strait of Dover, England 4.4~4.4 Principal aftershock of the Dover Straits earthquake of 1580 felt as far as Gravesend.[1]
23 July 1597 Scotland 4.6~4.6 Felt all over the Highlands.[1]
24 December 1601 North Sea Felt in London and the east of England.[1]
00 Feb 1602 North Sea [1]
8 November 1608 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 4.6~4.6 [1]
2 March 1622 Scotland [1]
11 April 1650 Cumberland, Cumbria, England 4.9~4.9 [1]
00 Jun 1668 Scottish Borders, Scotland No contemporary account of this shadowy event has come to light, but some later events are compared to it.[1]
6 October 1683 Derby, Derbyshire, England 4.7~4.7 First British earthquake surveyed by the British Geological Survey.[1]
27 August 1690 Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales 4.7~4.7 Also felt in Nantwich, Cheshire and Bideford, Devon.[1]
7 October 1690 Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales 5.2~5.2 Felt from Dublin to London.[1]
8 September 1692 Duchy of Brabant, Belgium 5.8~5.8 Felt in most parts of England, France, Germany and the Netherlands.[10]

18th century[edit]

Date Epicentre M_L Notes
28 December 1703 Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England 4.2~4.2 [1]
25 October 1726 Dorchester, Dorset, England 3.3~3.3 [1][11]
19 July 1727 Swansea, Wales 5.2~5.2 [1]
1 March 1728 Galashiels, Scottish Borders, Scotland 4.2~4.2 No damage caused.[1]
25 October 1734 Portsmouth, Hampshire, England 4.5~4.5 Also felt in France.[1]
30 April 1736 Ochil Hills, Scotland 2.7~2.7 Aftershocks also felt on 1 May.[1]
1 July 1747 Taunton, Somerset, England 3.5~3.5 [1]
17 May 1749 Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England 3.4~3.4 [1]
8 February 1750 London, England 2.6~2.6 [1][12]
8 March 1750 London, England 3.1~3.1 The last earthquake to have an epicentre in London.[1]
18 March 1750 Portsmouth, Hampshire,, England 4.3~4.3 [1]
2 April 1750 Chester, Cheshire, England 4.0~4.0 [1]
4 May 1750 Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England [13]
23 August 1750 North Sea 4.7~4.7
30 September 1750 Leicester, Leicestershire, England 4.1~4.1 [1]
8 April 1753 Skipton, North Yorkshire, England 4.0~4.0 [1]
19 April 1754 Whitby, North Yorkshire, England 4.4~4.4 [1]
1 August 1755 Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England 4.2~4.2 [1]
10 January 1757 Norwich, Norfolk, England 3.3~3.3 [1]
17 May 1757 Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England 3.2~3.2 [1]
15 July 1757 Penzance, Cornwall, England 4.4~4.4 [1]
12 August 1757 Holyhead, Isle of Anglesey, Wales 3.5~3.5 [1]
9 June 1761 Shaftesbury, Dorset, England 3.4~3.4 [1][14]
6 November 1764 Oxford, Oxfordshire, England 3.4~3.4 [1]
15 May 1768 Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, England 4.4~4.4 [1]
24 October 1768 Inverness, Highland, Scotland 3.4~3.4 [1]
21 December 1768 Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England 4.1~4.1 [1]
2 April 1769 South Molton, Devon, England 3.2~3.2 [1]
14 November 1769 Inverness, Highland, Scotland Several fatalities.[15]
22 April 1773 Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales, 3.7~3.7 [1]
23 April 1773 Channel Islands 4.4~4.4 Felt in Dorset and Northern France.[1]
8 September 1775 Swansea, Wales 5.1~5.1 [1]
28 November 1776 Dover Straits, England 4.1~4.1 [1]
14 September 1777 Manchester, Greater Manchester, England 4.4~4.4 Felt widely in Manchester, Macclesfield, Preston, Wigan, Stockport and the surrounding area.[1]
29 August 1780 Llanrwst, Conwy, Wales 3.8~3.8 [1]
9 December 1780 Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, England 4.8~4.8 [1]
5 October 1782 Amlwch, Isle of Anglesey, Wales 3.7~3.7 [1]
10 August 1783 Launceston, Cornwall, England 3.6~3.6 [1]
11 August 1786 Whitehaven, Cumbria, England 5.0~5.0 [1]
4 May 1789 Barnstaple, Devon, England 2.9~2.9 [1]
2 March 1792 Stamford, Lancashire, England 4.1~4.1 [1]
2 January and 12 March 1795 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland [1]
18 November 1795 Derbyshire, England 4.7~4.7 [16]
4 August 1797 Argyll, Argyll and Bute, Scotland 3.8~3.8 [1]

19th century[edit]

Date Epicentre M_L Notes
12 March 1800 Conwy, Wales 3.3~3.3 [1]
1 June 1801 Chester, Cheshire, England 3.6~3.6 [1]
7 September 1801 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 4.6~4.6 Climax of an earthquake swarm in Comrie lasting between 1788 and 1801.[1]
21 October 1802 Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales 3.3~3.3 [1]
12 January 1805 Ruthin, Denbighshire, Wales 3.0~3.0 [1]
21 April 1805 Stafford, Staffordshire, England 3.2~3.2 [1]
18 January 1809 Strathearn, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 3.2~3.2 [1]
31 January and
1 February 1809
Strontian, Highland, Scotland [1]
30 November 1811 Chichester, West Sussex, England 3.4~3.4 [1]
1 May 1812 Neath, Neath Port Talbot, Wales 3.0~3.0 [1]
17 March 1816 Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England 4.2~4.2 [1]
13 August 1816 Inverness, Highland, Scotland 5.1~5.1 [1]
23 April 1817 West Scotland 4.5~4.5 [1]
25 December 1820 Kintail, Highland, Scotland 3.4~3.4 [1]
22 October 1821 Rothesay, Argyll and Bute, Scotland 3.2~3.2 [1]
23 October 1821 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 3.0~3.0 [1]
18 January 1822 Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, East Riding of Yorkshire, England [17]
13 April 1822 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 2.9~2.9 [1]
6 December 1824 Portsmouth, Hampshire, England 2.9~2.9 [1]
9 February 1827 Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales 2.8~2.8 [1]
2 March 1831 Deal, Kent, England 3.1~3.1 [1]
28 July 1832 Chester, Cheshire, England 3.0~3.0 [1]
30 December 1832 Swansea, Wales 4.3~4.3 [1]
18 September 1833 to
27 August 1834
Chichester, West Sussex, England One fatality.[1] Mr William Marshall was killed by falling rock at Cocking quarry.[18]
20 August 1835 Lancaster, Lancashire, England 4.4~4.4 [1]
20 October 1837 Tavistock, Devon, England 3.2~3.2 [1]
20 March 1839 Invergarry, Highland, Scotland 3.2~3.2 [1]
11 June 1839 Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England 2.9~2.9 [1]
1 September 1839 Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales 3.5~3.5 [1]
23 October 1839 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 4.8~4.8 This was the largest of all known Comrie earthquakes, and was felt over most of Scotland. It caused a dam near Stirling to breach.[1]
18–19 January,
7 April and
26 October 1840
Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland A monument to the first of these earthquakes was found in 1993 and now belongs to the Perth Museum.[1]
12 March 1841 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 3.1~3.1 [1]
30 July 1841 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 3.9~3.9 [1]
20 December 1841 Kintail, Highland, Scotland 3.0~3.0 [1]
15 August 1842 Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales 3.0~3.0 [1]
25 February 1843 Argyll, Argyll and Bute, Scotland 3.4~3.4 [1]
10 March 1843 Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England 3.1~3.1 [1]
17 March 1843 Irish Sea 5.0~5.0 [1]
22 December 1843 Channel Islands 4.4~4.4 Felt in Devon.[1]
18 January 1844 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 3.9~3.9 [1]
24 November 1846 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 3.0~3.0 [1]
16 November 1847 Newport, Wales 3.1~3.1 [1]
3 April 1852 Wells, Somerset, England 3.2~3.2 [1]
1 June 1852 Swansea, Wales 2.9~2.9 [1]
12 August 1852 Callington, Cornwall, England 3.4~3.4 [1]
9 November 1852 Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales 5.3~5.3 Felt over a large area, from Galway, Glasgow and London.[1]
19 February 1853 Inverness, Highland, Scotland 3.9~3.9 [1]
27 March 1853 Hereford, Herefordshire, England 3.8~3.8 [1]
1 April 1853 Coutances, Manche, France 5.2~5.2 Felt on the south coast of England.[1]
1 April 1858 Liskeard, Cornwall, England 2.9~2.9 [1]
29 September 1858 Okehampton, Devon, England 2.5~2.5 [1]
6 June 1858 Stratherrick, Highland, Scotland 3.7~3.7 [1]
13 August 1859 Ixworth, Suffolk, England 2.8~2.8 [1]
21 October 1859 Padstow, Cornwall, England 4.0~4.0 [1]
15 December 1859 Settle, North Yorkshire, England 3.0~3.0 [1]
13 January 1860 Newquay, Cornwall, England 4.0~4.0 [1]
6 October 1863 Hereford, Herefordshire, England 5.2~5.2 Felt in Kent by Charles Dickens.
21 August 1864 Lewes, East Sussex, England 3.1~3.1 [1]
26 September 1864 Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England 3.5~3.5 [1]
15 February 1865 Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, England 2.2~2.2 [1]
27 February 1867 Grasmere, Cumbria, England 2.7~2.7 An account of this earthquake was written by Harriet Martineau.[1]
8 May 1867 Comrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 3.0~3.0 [1]
4 January 1868 Langport, Somerset, England 3.0~3.0 [1]
30 October 1868 Neath, Neath Port Talbot, Wales 4.9~4.9 Felt as far away as Manchester and Blackheath.[1]
9 January 1869 Ixworth, Suffolk, England 3.1~3.1 [1]
9 March 1869 Spean Bridge, Highland, Scotland 3.1~3.1 [1]
15 March 1869 Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England 3.6~3.6 [1]
17 March 1871 Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, England 4.9~4.9 [1]
15 April 1871 Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, Scotland 3.1~3.1 [1]
8 August 1872 Dunblane, Stirling, Scotland 2.9~2.9 [1]
15 November 1874 Caernarfon, Gweynedd, Wales 3.5~3.5 [1]
11 March and
23 April 1877
Isle of Mull, Argyll and Bute, Scotland [1]
8 April 1879 Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales [1]
28 November 1880 Argyll, Argyll and Bute, Scotland 5.2~5.2 Largest recorded earthquake in Scotland.[1]
16 January 1883 Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales 3.8~3.8 [1]
25 June 1883 Launceston, Cornwall, England 4.2~4.2 [1]
22 April 1884 Colchester, Essex, England 4.6~4.6 The most damaging earthquake since 1580. At least two fatalities reported. Felt in France and Belgium. See 1884 Colchester earthquake.[1]
18 June 1885 Market Weighton, East Riding of Yorkshire, England [1]
2 November 1893 Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales 5.0~5.0 [1]
17 December 1896 Hereford, Herefordshire, England 5.3~5.3 [1][19][20]

20th century[edit]

Date Epicentre M_L Notes
18 September 1901 Inverness, Highland, Scotland 5.0~5.0 [1]
19 June 1903 Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales 4.9 [1]
27 June 1906 Swansea, Wales 5.2 One of the most damaging British earthquakes of the 20th century.[1][21]
14 January 1916 Stafford, Staffordshire, England 4.6 Felt from Lancaster to Bristol.[1]
30 July 1926 Jersey, Channel Islands [1]
15 August 1926 Ludlow, Shropshire, England 4.8 [1]
24 January 1927 North Sea 5.7 [1]
7 June 1931 Dogger Bank, North Sea 6.1 Strongest officially recorded. See 1931 Dogger Bank earthquake.[1]
12 December 1940 North Wales 4.7 An elderly woman was killed after she fell down the stairs.[1][22]
30 December 1944 Skipton, North Yorkshire, England 4.8 Felt throughout northern England.[1]
11 February 1957 Derby, Derbyshire, England 5.3 Felt across central England. Largest UK post-war earthquake until 1984, and one of the most damaging earthquakes of the twentieth century.[1]
9 February 1958 North Sea 5.1 Felt throughout eastern England.[1]
9 August 1970 Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 4.1 [1]
10 August 1974 Kintail, Highland, Scotland 4.4 [1]
26 December 1979 Longtown, Cumbria, England 4.7 Felt throughout northern England and southern Scotland.[1]
19 July 1984 Llŷn Peninsula, Gwynedd, Wales 5.4 Felt across Ireland and western Great Britain. See 1984 Llŷn Peninsula earthquake.[1]
29 September 1986 Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland 4.1 [1]
2 April 1990 Bishop's Castle, Shropshire, England 5.1 Felt throughout most of England and Wales; numerous chimneys collapsed in Shrewsbury. See 1990 Bishop's Castle earthquake.[1]
15 February 1994 Norwich, Norfolk, England 4.0 [1]
4 March 1999 Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire, Scotland 4.0 [1]
23 September 2000 Warwick, Warwickshire, England 4.2 Felt across the Midlands.[1]

21st century[edit]

Date Epicentre M_L Notes
28 October 2001 Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England 4.1 Felt across the East Midlands.[1]
13 February 2002 South Wales ~3.0 Felt in South Wales Valleys.[23]
22 September 2002 Dudley, West Midlands, England 4.7 Felt between Liverpool and London. See 2002 Dudley earthquake.[1]
21 October 2002 Manchester, Greater Manchester, England 3.2 (08:45)
2.3 (09:04)
3.9 (12:42)
3.5 (12:43)
3.9 magnitude earthquake followed by a 3.5 magnitude event 22 seconds later.[1][24] Largest event in an earthquake swarm that occurred in the centre of Manchester during October and January 2003. During this swarm, over 110 tremors were recorded, with 30 being strong enough to be felt.[25][26][27] The swarm was unexplained - however it is believed the Red Rock fault system was a possible trigger.[28]
14 February 2005 Conwy, Wales 3.3 [29]
26 December 2006 Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland 3.6 [30]
28 April 2007 Folkestone, Kent, England 4.3 See 2007 Kent earthquake.[31]
10 August 2007 Manchester, Greater Manchester, England 2.5 Strongest of six tremors that occurred during August 2007.[32][33] Like the 2002 swarm in the area, possibly caused by the Red Rock fault system.
27 February 2008 Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, England 5.2 Felt widely in England and Wales. See 2008 Lincolnshire earthquake.[34]
26 October 2008 Bromyard, Herefordshire, England 3.6 [35]
15 January 2009 Shetland, Scotland 3.3 [36]
3 March 2009 Folkestone, Kent, England 3.0 [37]
11 April 2009 Goxhill, Lincolnshire, England 3.0 [38]
28 April 2009 Ulverston, Cumbria, England 3.7 Felt around Barrow, Kendal, Windermere, Fleetwood and the North Lancaster area.[39][40]
1 September 2010 Central North Sea 3.5 [41]
21 December 2010 Coniston, Cumbria, England 3.5 Felt across Cumbria and also in Dumfries & Galloway, Isle of Man and Lancashire.[42][43]
3 January 2011 Ripon, North Yorkshire, England 3.6 Felt across Yorkshire and Cumbria.[44]
23 January 2011 Glenuig, Highland, Scotland 3.5 Felt across the Western Highlands including in Inverness, Skye and Oban.[45]
23 June 2011 Bovey Tracey, Devon, England 2.7 [46]
14 July 2011 English Channel, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England 3.9 [47]
21 August 2011 Lochailort, Highland, Scotland 2.9 [48]
20 October 2011 Glen Shiel, Highland, Scotland 2.4 [49]
4 December 2011 Bodmin, Cornwall, England 2.2 The quake could have been felt as far as St Austell, Liskeard and Padstow, but there were no reports of damage.[50]
26 January 2012 Buncrana, Donegal, Ireland 2.2
1 June 2012 Ludlow, Shropshire, England 2.5 [51]
18 January 2013 Loughborough, Leicestershire, England 2.9 Felt across the East Midlands. USGS say the quake had a magnitude of 3.2 but BGS say the quake had a magnitude of 2.9 [52][53]
15 May 2013 Gairloch, Highland, Scotland 2.8 Felt across the Scottish Highlands.[54]
18 May 2013 Acharacle, Highland, Scotland 2.9 Felt across the Scottish Highlands.[55]
29 May 2013 Llŷn Peninsula, Gwynedd, Wales 3.8 Felt across Ireland and Wales.[56][57]
25 August 2013 Irish Sea, Blackpool, Lancashire, England 2.4-3.3 Felt in Blackpool, England. [58][59]
20 February 2014 Bristol Channel, England 4.1 Felt in Somerset, North Devon and South Wales. [60]
17 April 2014 Rutland, England 3.2 Felt between Melton Mowbray and Oakham. [61]
18 April 2014 Rutland, England 3.5 Also felt between Oakham and Melton Mowbray, with epicenter in Rutland. [62]
20 May 2014 North Sea, England 3.4 The earthquake occurred in the Sheffield area near Hillsborough barracks.

[63]

3 July 2014 Fort William, Highland, Scotland 2.9 Occurred at 18:36 UTC on Thursday evening just west of the town. It was felt in a number of other areas, including Glencoe, Oban and Lochaber[64]
11 July 2014 Jersey, Channel Islands 4.3 Occurred at 11:54 UTC, with the epicenter approximately 15 km west of Jersey. It was felt by 100 people in the Channel Islands, Southern England and parts of France.[65]
18 July 2014 Jersey, Channel Islands 2.3, 2.1, 2.0 Several aftershocks felt in Jersey following the 4.3 earthquake on 11 July. [66][67] [68]
23 July 2014 Jersey, Channel Islands 3.3 Occurred at 16:26 UTC. Believed to be another aftershock from the 18 July earthquake.[69]
25 July 2014 North Sea, England 2.7 Occurred at 19:05 UTC off the coast of England. Between the Eastern coast of East Riding of Yorkshire and northern coast of Norfolk.[70]
22 August 2014 Bettyhill, Highland, Scotland 2.0 The earthquake occurred off the coast of Scotland near Bettyhill.[71]
31 August 2014 Ardnamurchan, Highland, Scotland 2.4 The earthquake was felt in Acharacle and Kilchoan.[72]
26 October 2014 Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England 1.7 [73]
28 October 2014 Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, England 2.6 The earthquake was felt in Mansfield, Papplewick, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Ravenshead, Newstead Village and Blidworth.[74]
14 January 2015 Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England 1.8 [75][76]
27 January 2015 Winchester, Hampshire, England 2.9 Tremor felt in Hampshire. [77]
28 January 2015 Rutland, England 3.8 The epicentre was near the town of Oakham. [78]
22 May 2015 Sandwich, Kent, England 4.2 The tremor originated in Sandwich but could be felt in other areas such as Canterbury, Margate and Southend-on-Sea. The earthquake struck at 02:52 BST. [79]
26 May 2015 Gwynedd, Wales 3.0 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-32892758

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]

  • Sky news

External links[edit]