Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.


On this day in history in 1795, The Wold Cottage Meteorite fell to earth.

Wold Cottage meteorite is the first recorded extraterrestrial fall in Britain. Witnesses to the event, in farmland near Wold Newton, Yorkshire, state that explosions like musket shots sounded out, that a dark object passed through the clouds and a workman standing close to the point of impact was splashed with mud.

The workmen together with other farm labourers excavated a large stone weighing 60 pounds, still hot and smelling of sulphur. The owner of the land, Mr Edward Topham, exhibited the stone to his friends and many curious visitors who travelled miles to view a boulder which had fallen from the heavens. Mr Topham erected a monument on the site, which states:-

On this spot December 13th 1795
Fell from the atmosphere
In breadth 28 inches
In length 30 inches
And which weighed 56 pounds.

The meteorite was analysed by a chemist Edward C Howard who concluded that the high nickel content and the unusual composition of the rock showed that in came from beyond the earth.

The meteorite is now on display at the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD. The monument is at Wold Cottage, Wold Newton, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 3HL.

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