The Great Flood of 1606

…or 1603, or 1606…no-one’s sure.

I live in the Gloucestershire village of Frampton-on-Severn. It has a beautiful long green, a pub a each end and the Sharpness Canal raised into dyke to protect the inhabitants from the powerful tidal waters of the River Severn. Although we are near sea-level, the area has been mercifully free of flooding recently – although every 200 years or so, a storm surge has inundated the towns and villages along the course of the river.

This woodcut was made at the time of a great flood in 1607, although dates are sketchy. Originally thought to be  the result of tsunami, currently research suggests it was more likely a storm surge combined with a spring tide. The images of floating animals and buildings nonetheless reflect the severity of the disaster.

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