William Lonsdale Hetherington

Mr Hetherington in 1877

A series of charts recording the weather in Sherborne between 1874 and 1886 have been digitised and are now available online.

The daily reading taken at a weather station located at Sherborne School reveal the temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, ozone and rainfall during a period known as the Agricultural Depression.

Between 1873 and 1896 a series of bad harvests following a run of cold, wet summers coincided with a flood of cheap imports of corn and cheese from the USA, Canada and Australia.  Dorset farmers were particularly badly hit with the result that between 1870 and 1900 the sheep population in Dorset fell by 40% and arable crops were no longer worth growing.  Dairy farmers also suffered, with poor hay crops and cattle disease.

The weather charts were kept methodically by schoolmaster Mr Hetherington and his pupils from readings taken from a weather station located in a courtyard to the south of the School chapel.  They were found in a cupboard in the School archives having been carefully stored together 130 years ago.

Visit Sherborne School Archive News for more stories from the archives.

Posted 18 February 2016 by Sherborne School Archives.

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