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A 1783 woodcut depicting a meteor shower over England.

A 1783 woodcut depicting a meteor shower over England.

Photo: Via Wikimedia Commons

A Meteorite Falls to Earth at Launton

1 May 2021 (Updated 23 November 2021)

Although meteor showers can be seen in the night skies fairly regularly, a meteorite actually falling to earth in the United Kingdom is an altogether more rare occurrence. In fact the Meteoritical Society only records 18 verified meteors in the UK prior to 2015.

Despite this, the village of Launton near Bicester can lay claim to being the location of one of these.

A near miss

On the 15th February 1830 witnesses reported seeing a fireball in the sky, followed by three loud explosions that could be heard four miles away. The meteorite fell to earth in a Launton back garden, burying itself a foot into the ground and narrowly missing a man digging his garden!

The meteorite which weights 1.06kg can now be found in the Natural History Museum in London.


  1. Virtual Microscope (www.virtualmicroscope.org)
  2. Launton Meteorite at Tate Britain
  3. 'A Grim Almanac of Oxforshire' by Nicola Sly (The History Press, 2013, ISBN: 978752465814)