mapsworldwide blog

We are an online specialist map retailer based in the United Kingdom, supplying maps, travel guides & nautical charts worldwide.

The London Frost Fairs of Times Past

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Stephen Liddell

Lots of us remember when generally it was a lot colder when we were little.  The summers were also less wet too, at least in the U.K. but no-one in their right mind would think of London as being an Artic like city and yet for about 1,000 years in the winter it was exactly that.

It would get so cold that the River Thames would freeze up, sometimes for 3 months of the year.  The first reports of this happening are as long ago as 250 AD and a few centuries later, the Thames was being used as a frozen road, carrying horses and carts and all the other things associated with a busy street of the time.

For much of the 14th-19th centuries much of Europe suffered from what was called the Mini Ice Age.  The winters in particular were very harsh with the ground being frozen down…

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