SP2872 : A frosty route to the town centre, Abbey Fields
near to Kenilworth, Warwickshire, Great Britain
Hoar frost in Kenilworth December 2010 :: SP2972
On the night of Monday 6th December / Tuesday 7th December 2010 the area experienced its coldest temperatures for 23 years.
My thermometer (in a sheltered place adjacent to the house wall in the centre of the town) recorded -7 degrees C overnight.
The reading at our most local 'official' weather station at Bablake School, Coventry was -10.2 degrees C, which was the lowest December minimum temperature since 1981 (when -16.1 degrees was recorded) and the coldest temperature at any time of the year since January 1987 when the temperature fell to -10.6 degrees C.
The maximum temperature during the day on Tuesday recorded by my thermometer was -2 degrees C. It was the coldest December day (-1.8C) at Bablake since 1995 (when -3.4C was recorded).
The whole of the Midlands had a spectacular hoar frost - and to quote from the Wolverhampton Express and Star website:
'Hoar frosts are relatively rare in the Midlands. They describe the scene when branches of trees, wire fences and even cobwebs are covered in a layer of white.
It happens when the air cools and water condenses rapidly, creating complex icy structures. When objects lose heat into open clear skies, they become colder than the surrounding air and allow hoar frost to form.
Gavin Robbins, from the Met Office, said “The reason we have hoar frost is that we haven’t had any snow or rain but the temperatures are so cold that ice forms on surfaces directly from the air. Had temperatures been above freezing, it would have formed as dew. It is different from air frost, which happens in autumn when temperatures dip to freezing but the soil still retains some summer heat. And it is not the same as ground frost, which can form when the the ground can fall below freezing when the air does not.”
Postscript: Two weeks later temperatures dropped further- the maximum daytime temperature at Bablake on 19th December was -2.8C and the temperature there fell to -10.8C on the night of 20th December.
Abbey Fields, Kenilworth
Abbey Fields is a public open space in the heart of Kenilworth. The ground slopes steeply down from the north and south to the Finham Brook, alongside which a shallow lake has been created on the site of the abbey's original fishponds. Recreational facilities include an open air swimming pool, tennis courts and children's playground.
The Fields were the site of the Abbey of St Mary, founded around 1119 for Augustinian Canons and closed by King Henry VIII's dissolution in 1538. By 1600, most of the abbey’s buildings had been dismantled, although some parts survive today both above and below ground, including the 14th century sandstone Barn, which is now home to the town’s museum, maintained by the Kenilworth History and Archaeology Society and open on summer Sunday and Bank Holiday afternoons.
In the 19th century, the Fields formed part of the estate of the Earls of Clarendon who also owned Kenilworth Castle. The land was put up for sale in 1884, and the central part of the Fields was bought by the Kenilworth Local Board (the forerunner to the District Council). The land was conveyed with a covenant that “said pieces of land may forever hereinafter be used as public walks or pleasure grounds, under the Recreational Grounds Act 1859”. As the Board couldn’t find the finance needed for the purchase of the rest of the land, it was acquired by a few eminent townspeople who developed some of the edges for housing but gifted the rest to the town.
Today the Fields are maintained by Warwick District Council with help from The Friends of Abbey Fields. A covenant on one part of the land requires that it be kept ‘in its natural state as open grassland’, and this is generally the policy today- the Fields are not a conventional park, but a piece of countryside in the centre of the town.
Further details of the history and wildlife of the Fields can be found on the Friends of Abbey Fields website. Link
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- Grid Square
- SP2872, 225 images (more nearby)
- John Brightley (find more nearby)
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- Date Taken
- Tuesday, 7 December, 2010 (more nearby)
- Wednesday, 8 December, 2010
- Open space (more nearby)
- Subject Location
OSGB36: SP 2853 7214 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:20.7957N 1:34.9566W
- Photographer Location
- OSGB36: SP 2852 7218
- View Direction
- South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
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