Weather in the archives

Weather Journals

Weston Park weather bookWeather books or journals were sometimes created as part of the administration of a large house or estate. In some cases they were maintained by the head gardener, in others, the home farm bailiff or sometimes by a member of the family. Where they exist, they form one of the most useful and consistent sources of information about weather in the county.

Weather journals contain a daily record of the weather. At their best they include maximum and minimum temperatures, wind direction, rainfall, barometric pressure and a description about the state of the weather on the day in question. Sometimes the comments can be quite detailed, drawing comparisons with former years.

At the Staffordshire Record Office there are two good surviving series of weather journals. The series for Trentham Hall in the north of the County are the earlier, covering the years 1818 - 1821 and 1855 - 1902. The earlier years provide greater detail than the later. The second series are those for Weston Park in the west of the county. These cover the period 1883 to 1988. In addition to the standard information, they provide annual summaries of rainfall and have particularly useful comments.

In addition to estate weather journals, occasional series of weather records kept by individuals have been deposited with the Archive Service. In particular there is an excellent series of weather records compiled for the period 1970-1992 relating the Kings Bromley, near Lichfield. In addition to the daily records kept, these contain a substantial amount of analysis of rainfall, temperature, wind units and sun units.

Taken together these three series or records provide an unbroken record of weather in the County for 140 years. Contact us for further details at

Extracts from this archive source can be found alongside other source material in the Month by Month section, arranged chronologically to show the progression of weather through each month.