SP2872 : Sledging in a snowstorm in Abbey Fields

taken 14 years ago, near to Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England

Sledging in a snowstorm in Abbey Fields
Sledging in a snowstorm in Abbey Fields
Adults and children gathered here at possibly the best sledging spot in mid-Warwickshire. The hillside is quite steep but the grass is nice and smooth and there are few obstacles.
Snow and cold weather in Kenilworth December 2010 :: SP2871

During the fourth week of November 2010 much of the country was hit by heavy snow falls. Warwickshire escaped with a very light dusting of snow on 26th/27th November- much less than most other locations. However Bablake weather station in Coventry reported that 28th November was the coldest November day since 1894.

On the night of Monday 6th /Tuesday 7th December the area experienced a dramatic hoar frost - photos of this can be found here: Link

Ten days later the area had a much heavier fall of snow - there were light snow showers on Friday 17th December which made little impact, but further snow which started falling on the morning of Saturday 18th December and continued throughout most of the day quickly built up to a thickness of about 3 inches. This snow had not been forecast by the BBC weather service who had predicted the northern edge of the snow band would not reach further north than about Oxford.

Most roads in and around Kenilworth were affected by the snow - although gritting did take place even the major roads were not completely cleared for a couple of days. However places just a few miles further north such as Coventry and North Warwickshire had little snow by comparison and most roads there were kept clear.

Warwickshire has light falls of snow most years, but it usually thaws and disappears within a day or two. This year an unusual weather front hanging over the British Isles and bringing cold air from the Arctic ensured that temperatures stayed below freezing, dropping to an overnight minimum of -10.8 degrees C at Bablake weather station in Coventry on 20th December - the coldest temperature recorded there since 1981.

A further snowfall on 22nd December brought the total lying snow to a thickness of about 4 or 5 inches. The snow that had originally fallen on 18th December did not start to thaw until the afternoon of 24th December in a few spots which caught the sunshine. With temperatures in most of the area staying below zero, most of the snow remained. Bablake weather station reported that it was the coldest Christmas Day since 1964 and there was still 2 or 3 inches of snow on Abbey Fields on Boxing Day. However on 27th December the thaw started in earnest and the snow quickly melted away.

Bablake Weather Station reported on 28th December that week 51 2010 was the coldest and driest week 51 on record in Coventry and that December 2010 "is destined to be described as 'historic', and certainly the coldest December in Central England since 1890."

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. LinkExternal link

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright John Brightley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Category: Public open space Frost Winter Sledge Click a tag, to view other nearby images.
This photo is linked from: Galleries: · Selected tweets, Week 22 Automatic Clusters: · Sledging [7] Title Clusters: · Sledging in a snowstorm in Abbey Fields [2] ·
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SP2872, 461 images   (more nearby 🔍)
John Brightley   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Saturday, 18 December, 2010   (more nearby)
Sunday, 19 December, 2010
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 2848 7201 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:20.7258N 1:35.0013W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 2851 7202
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Supplemental image
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