28 Essex Earthquake

The Earthquake in Essex occurred on the 22nd April 1884, and had noticeable affect on deep wells, with regard to their standing water level. The Water Tower at Colchester was also cracked. It probably had a much wider effect as water levels were not continuously monitored and would have gone unnoticed. It was however recorded at the waterworks wells in Colchester and Courtaulds well at Bocking that water levels rose for a few months, and at Earls Colne the supply failed due to the supply pipe being squeezed. Apart from the water tower, numerous buildings were damaged and church spires collapsed.Earthquake 001

Earthquake damage to building at Old Heath near Colchester 

Spring sources were also affected the water running turbid for several hours, before clearing again. 

The epicentre of the earthquake was about 4 miles south of Colchester around the villages of Abberton, Peldon and Wivenhoe, with major structural damage within 20 miles, see above. The shock of the earthquake was felt as far afield as Yorkshire, Exeter and across the English Channel in Boulogne and Ostend.  Hundreds of chimney stacks collapse in and around Colchester. Also Mersea Island and Wivenhoe were badly affected. The Houses of Parliament were violently shaken and a large wave engulfed boats on the River Thames. There were no known deaths although over 1200 buildings in Essex were damaged.