Weather and Other Natural Disasters
Skating on the Thames
In the often unpredictable climate of the early fourteenth century, the Thames was often frozen solid to the point that people could walk from London to Southwark, and that bonfires were lit upon the surface. Of course, there was plenty of opportunity for sport too - Fitzstephen reported that people wore skates (probably made from bone, as the ones in the Museum of London) and pushed themselves across the ice using poles. These poles were also used in the game of jousting on ice.
In 1091, what is thought to be the equivalent of an F4 tornado struck London. It destroyed London Bridge, several churches and over 600 wooden houses. Four rafters, measuring over 26 feet were hurled to the ground with such power that only 4 feet of them were left visible above the ground. Yet, despite the devastation, it appears that only two people died.