An account of an extraordinary stream of WIND which shot through part of the parishes of Termonomungan and Urney, in the county of Tyrone, on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 1752; by William Henry, D.D., Rector of the parish of Urney. Communicated to the royal society by Lord Cadogan, F.R.S. and read, Jan. 11, 1753.
THE air for the whole day was serene and calm; sometimes a gentle breeze from the south-east. About four o’clock after noon, the sky seemed to open; and there was a flash of lightning from the south-east. In half an hour after, there was heard thunder, as at a great distance, from the same point. About five the sky was a little overcast with clouds; but the air continued in a dead calm. On a sudden there was heard a violent rushing noise; the sky seemed to open, and emitted a flash of lightning, but no noise of thunder; and a stream of wind instantly ensued, the violence of which nothing could resist.
This stream of wind, so far as can be traced by the effects, arose from a glin called Allgolan [Altgolan], and continued its course for three miles from south-east to north-west. The violent current of it seemed to be confined to a space about sixteen feet in breadth, and the whole body of the air in motion did not exceed sixty feet; as may be computed from some of the following particulars, which happened in the little village of Lisnacloon, in the parish of Termonomungan, and the edge of the parish of Urney.
At the distance of a mile to the south-east of this village, it cut a line through several clamps of turf, which were standing in a bog, and tumbled down all the clamps in this line. Thence it crossed the river Derge, in the same line, and dashed up the water with great noise and violence; as was observed by John Kyle, who has mills on the river, and several others. Thence, in the same line, and at the space of half a mile, it took the village of Lisnacloon; where there are thirteen dwelling-houses, beside office-houses, belonging to farmers and cottagers, scattered irregularly.
1. It dashed down a hay-stack belonging to William Monteith, which was the first object in its way; and stripped entirely twelve feet off the roof of his dwelling-house.
2. It knocked down Henry Carolan’s turf-stack, and carried some of the turf above 300 yards over the cabbins into the fields.
3. At the distance of sixty-nine paces, it took Henry Crawford’s house. Full in the broadside of which, it stripped fifty-nine feet, leaving each of the ends, above and below the stream of air, quite unmoved. This particular points out its utmost breadth.
At the back of this house it overset an hay-rick, which stood in its line; but did not ruffle any of the corn-stacks, which stood within a few yards to the north side.
4. It knocked off eight feet of the roof of Solomon Folliot’s kiln, which stood in its line.
5. It levelled fifty-five feet of David Monteith’s garden-ditch.
6. It levelled, in the same direct line, William Folliot the younger’s hay-stack, which stood south-east from his house.
7. It burst with incredible violence through his cow-house, and cut a passage of sixteen feet quite through it, and carried some of the ribs of the house before it 400 yards into the field. The rest of the house was a little ruffled. His wife, who had gone into the cow-house a minute before, was knocked down by one of the ribs falling. She declared, that it was a dead calm the minute before; when, on a sudden, she saw a flash of lightning, and heard and felt the violent storm; but heard no thunder.
Old William Folliot, aged ninety-three, who was walking in the field, at the back of the house, was blown down, and grievously bruised. He saw the lightning, but heard no thunder.
Samuel Foliot, being in the same field, but out of the line in which the stream of the wind passed, felt no wind; but heard a mighty rushing noise, and saw the timber, thatch, turf, and dust of the houses, fly by him, at the distance of forty yards. He saw a flight of rooks dashed down in the same field.
In this village are several other inhabited houses, both on the north and south sides of the course of this stream, none of which were in the least ruffled. The air continued still among these houses; and the inhabitants stood astonished, on seeing the sudden devastation so near them.
After passing this village, the stream was continued in the same line, but with less violence, to a large hill in the parish of Urney, which is called Muckle; and, on the north side of the hill, at the distance of a mile from Lisnacloon, burst open the door of John Ranking, a weaver, and broke down a web in his loom. As at this last place it entered a large bog, which is extended for three miles, it could be traced no further.
The time in which this stream passed through the village of Lisnacloon, was about five minutes. It was succeeded immediately by a torrent of rain.
Having been informed of this extraordinary phaenomenon, that I might have the more perfect knowledge of all particulars, I took with me two gentlemen, Dr Michael Law, a physician of note, and the Rev. Charles Rhea, on the 20th instant, from Strabane, and viewed and measured on the spot the course of this violent stream, as it appeared by the marks; and at the same time examined minutely the several inhabitants of the village of Lisnacloon, who were eye-witnesses of this fact; and from their united testimonies, and my own ocular observations, collected the above account.
|FOLLIOT||William (aged 93)||Villager||Lisnacloon|
|FOLLIOT||William the younger||Villager||Lisnacloon|
|FOLLIOT||Mrs William||Villager’s wife||Lisnacloon|
|HENRY||Rev. William||Rector||Parish of Urney|
|KYLE||John||Owner of mills||on the River Derge|
|RANKING||John||The Muckle, Parish of Urney|
Note: Article states that “there [were] thirteen dwelling-houses [in] the village of Lisnacloon, beside office-houses, belonging to farmers and cottagers, scattered irregularly.”
(as at 11 October 1752)
Access to online copies (some with minor adaptations), all available for downloading as a Free eBook:
The Scots Magazine, Volume 16
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Volume 26; Volume 48, Part 1
Digital copy from The Royal Society Publishing (JSTOR Digital Library), article entitled “An Account of an Extraordinary Stream of Wind, Which Shot thro' Part of the Parishes of Termonomungan and Urney”