Hartland Quay Weather Station

The earliest archived records from a Weather Station at Hartland Quay are from December 1917 and November 1918, being daily entries for those months in the “Meteorological Register for the month of .... at the Telegraphic Reporting Station at Hartland Quay”.

The Barometer is noted to be at 45' 9" above Mean Sea Level, and the rim of the Rain Gauge to be 1' above ground level at 100ft above Mean Sea Level. There are no other details about the site.

Wind speeds are by Beaufort Scale. upper cloud movement direction is noted and cloud type descriptions are given. Wet and Dry bulb temperatures, Barometer readings, sea disturbance (by scale) and wind speed & direction are noted four times a day, and rainfall recorded daily at 7am.

The Observer is Harold Notley .

After a brief 2 year interval of no archive,the Hartland Quay Coastguard Station reopened in 1920, and records exist for the period Sep 1920 – Feb 1932 ... a "Observations of air and sea temperature, wind and weather".

Various Observers are named, with their "Rank or Rating" being described as "Coast Guard" : James E. Lee, H Nowell, S Bowen, and Arthur M Gilchrist. Also named is George Wood, described as Station Officer.


As part of the record, the observers have to describe features or objects used to assess visibility distance, and they do this based on the Coastguard Watch Hut, which must have been in position by their first record on September 1920.
By their description , this Watch Hut must have been inland of the Hartland Quay buildings, at the edge of what is now the middle car park, and this seems to be the case from the available photographs.

No dated photograph gives a firm date for its placement - the photographs presented as postcards (with a dated postmark) could have been taken some years before posting.
Hartland Quay Coastguard Watch Hut aerial view
Hartland Quay Coastguard Watch Hut. Postcard undated except by postmark.
The Watch Hut is on what is now the 'middle car park', uphill from the buildings
Hartland Quay Coastguard Watch Hut from NW
Hartland Quay Coastguard Watch Hut. Postcard undated.
Viewed from the rocks/beach to the North West.
The Watch Hut is on the skyline in the top left corner of the picture
Visibility observations were carried out from the Watch Hut, described as 100ft above high water level, but occasional observations are noted as being carried out 50ft above sea level.

Sea temperature measurements were performed, and the "depth of water at low tide where observations are taken" is variously unrecorded or given as 9ft or 6ft. It is unclear where this reading was carried out - it probably depended on the state of sea and tide.

Twice daily readings are recorded for air and sea temperature, for wind speed (Beaufort Scale) and direction, coded weather description, and visibility by scale. Rainfall is neither measured nor recorded.
Following a major review of the Coastguard service in 1931, in 1932 the Hartland Quay Coastguard Station closed permanently.

A Coastguard Station had been built at Hartland Point in 1926, and weather recording started there in 1937 .

There is no record of whether weather recording took place in the intervening years, and if so from what site.

The Coastguard Cottages were constructed on the seaward edge of Stoke in 1923/1924 , but I have no evidence of weather recording taking place at that site.
Hartland Quay Coastguard Watch Hut . Photograph undated.
viewed from the rocks/beach to the South West
The Watch Hut is in the top right of the picture