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CRUMLIN, County Antrim, Stone (L5), fell 1902
DUNDRUM, County Tipperary, Stone(H5), fell 1865
KILLETER, County Tyrone, Stones(H6), fell 1844
LEIGHLINBRIDGE, County Carlow, Stones(H6?), fell 1999
LIMERICK, County Limerick, Stones(H5), fell 1813
MOORESFOOT, County Tipperary, Stone(H5), fell 1810
PETTISWOOD, Westmeath, Stone (type?), fell 1779

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PETTISWOOD, Westmeath, Ireland
Stone (type?), witnessed fall 1779, nothing now preserved.
A light coloured stone, almost white, with a light brown crust.
Extract from "The Gentleman's Magazine" 1796, 66, page 726.
Extract from "The Gentleman's Magazine" 1796, 66, page 726.
Mr. Urban,

Fleet-street, Aug. 1.

May it not be a reasonable conjecture, that all the various substances which have fallen from the atmosphere, in latter as well as in former time, are nothing more than the sands, and other contents, found at the bottom of lakes and large rivers, and from the shores of the sea, naturally produced by the powerful influence or the attraction of the clouds? It is but a trite observation to say, that the clouds make frequent visits to the waters of the earth, from which they usually carry away large quantities of that element, and with it, no doubt, the substances (even with some of the fish[*]) which from the beds, in proportion to the heat of the weather, and the depth of those waters which the clouds, when they fall, happen to attach upon. It is as self-evident, that the streams which ascend with the clouds are sometimes clear as crystal, at other times thick and middy. When the latter is the case, then it is that these substances may be concseted; and, by some extradinary concussion in the atmosphere, return to the earth. But one fact is worth fifty opinions. Two pieces, belonging to a concretion of this sort, have been in my possession since the year 1779, which actually descended, in a loud-peal of thunder, upon a meadow, situate at Pettiswood, co. Westmeath, in the kingdom of Ireland[*]. The size and form of this cake, as nearly as any thing I can compare it to, is that of a twopenny heart-cake, supposing all the parts were together. The two pieces of the cake I am describing weigh three ounces and a half, and, I suppose, form two thirds of the whole. Be the composition of this stone what else it may, it has been adjudged to be neither fossil, pyrite, nor petrifaction; and, I doubt nor, were it put into water, it would dissolve, and spread to the bottom of its own proper natural element; in short, it is not any mineral substance, nor is it similar to any stone known in the country; it is, as before stated, nothing more than a cake of concreted sand, containing small particles of white sparkling shells, the same as is to be found on the shores and beds of the lakes near which it descended[*]. I was not a moment at a loss to guess whence came this phaenomenon, from observations previously made of the working of the clouds, which to me and my family was a frequent topic of contemplative and conversable amusement. The sports of the clouds are scenes, the first, in my mind, among the sublime and beautiful. Like the wary seafowl, they gradually descend, hover over the water, rise and descend again and again, until duly prepared; then dart, and seize upon their prey. Having quenched their thirst from the lakes, their reascension is marked, between wind and water, with a most brilliant transparency. I never beheld in nature an object sufficiently grand (except the comet of 1769) with which to compare this scene, produced by the occasional visits, the wanton and playful festivities of the clouds upon the lakes.

At the instant this rude lump descended, our little village was enveloped with the fumes of sulphur, which continued about six minutes. To its descent five witnesses are now living; three of whom reside in London. It lighted upon the wooden part of a harness, called a stradle, belonging to a filly drawing manure to a meadow, and broke into three pieces. At the same instant the affrighted beast fell to the earth, under her load; as did the two equally affrighted gassoons (boys), the drivers, who, in good Irish, came crying to me, with two pieces of the stone, declaring that themselves and the filly were all murdered by this thunderbolt; none of whom, however, received the least injury. The two pieces, when I received them, after the resurrection of the boys, were warm as milk just from the cow; whence it may be naturally be concluded, that the cake came from a scorching atmosphere, and pretty well accounts for the outside of it, in its formation, and during its stay there, having been tinged to a whitish brown, whereas internally it is of a silver white, exactly like the materials whence it originated, supposing my conjecture a fact.

I am the more inclined to think I am not very far from the truth, and that my conjecture may make a favourable impression; first, because I never related this narrative and shewed the concreted substance to any persons (which I should not have done but that the subject was now agitating) however unbelieving before, and who have ever treated this subject with the utmost ridicule that can be imagined, but such persons have been brought to acknowledge, that, at least, they had formed too badly an opinion.

...(more follows, discussing the causes, quoting Professor Soldani, and Mr. King's pamphlet "On Stones falling from the Clouds", followed by a short description of the Yorkshire, Wold Cottage stone, and its differences to that owned by the author, finishing with...)

I am not without hope, that, upon a farther investigation by the learned, my cake and Captain Topham's loaf will be found to have both been baked in the same stupendous oven, according to the due course of nature.


Footnotes to the letter
[*] Should fish, or other marine substances, be discovered, petrified in quarries, etc. it would be no very hard matter to account for such petrifactions upon my idea of their rise and fall into and from the atmosphere. Should they fall upon the earth, and remain unbedded, no doubt but they would entirely waste away; on the contrary, should they be immersed within rocks, quarries, or hardened sand, they might remain perfect in shape and substance for ages.

[*] See Gent. Mag. vol. LXV. p201, Pettitswood is so called from John Pettis, who, by an old-map of Ireland, appears to have been a proscribed proprietor of lands of 40 miles extent, in a strait line, viz. from Pettiswood, through Westmeath and Longford, and part of the county of Rosecommon. Upon this hill of Pettiswood, and one opposite, called Rathconel, was fought a very famous battle, immediately previous to that of Clontarf, 1014, which terminated the contest between the Irish and the Danes, the latter of whom were here also defeated. See Sir Henry Piers's History of Westmeath, published by Vallancey, 8vo.

[*] The extensive lakes Ennel and Sewell, near Mullingar, whose shores are inhabited by families of the first rank in the kingdom, viz. earl Belvidere, and the whole family of the Rochforts; Mr. Lyons; Sir john Blaquire; Sir Richard Levinge; Mr. Judge; Mr. Reynolds; and a numerour gentry; who could all testify to the similarity of he substances here insisted on, were they to view that which I am describing. For a curious and interesting description of these lakes, see Vallancey's work, before quoted.

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MOORESFOOT, County Tipperary
Stone(H5), witnessed fall 10th August 1810 at 11:30am.
After the appearance of a moving cloud and sounds like thunder, a stone of 7.75 lb was seen to fall.[6b]
Article by William Higgins in The Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, 1811, page 262.
Article by William Higgins in The Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, 1811, page 262.

XLVIII. Description and Analysis of a Meteoric Stone which fell in the County of Tipperary, in Ireland, in the Month of August 1810. By William Higgins, Esq.

To Mr. Tilloch.

Dear Sir, As meteoric stones have lately engaged the attention of the philosophical world, perhaps the following description and analysis of a stone that had fallen last August, during a thunder-storm, in the county of Tipperary, in Ireland, very near the house of Maurice Crosbie Moore, esq. will be acceptable to many of the numerous readers of your very useful Journal. It will at least add to the authenticity of those strange and unaccountable visitors, and tend to prove the resemblance to each other of the stones that have fallen in different parts of the world.

This stone was sent last spring to the Dublin Society, with an account of the circumstances attending its fall, in a letter from Mr. Moore, a printed copy of which I enclose. It was not injured by the fall, and was somewhat of a cubical shape, with the angles and edges of two sides rounded; the other two opposite sides exhibited a very uneven surface, occasioned by depressions and prominences, as if a part had been broken previous to the heat to which it must have been exposed before its fall.

It weighed seven pounds and three quarters, and the entire surface was covered over with a brownish black thin crust, evidently the effects of fusion by an intense and rapid heat. When broken, its internall appearance is of an ash-gray colour, and of a gritty coarse fracture in some degree resembling sand-stone, except some particular parts where a specular appearance occurs somewhat like a blackish-gray gneiss: in this case the smooth surfaces do not adhere so firmly as the other parts; the dark colour proceeds from mallable iron, which forms here and there a very thin coating.

followed by 4 pages of analysis, which I have omitted

Letter from Mr. Moore to Mr Higgins.

"Sir,--I had the honour of receiving a letter, requesting from me the particulars respecting a meteoric stone that fell near my house in the county of Tipperary, and which a short time ago I did myself the pleasure of presenting to the Dublin Society. The particulars are as follow:- Early last August, between eleven and twelve o'clock in the morning, I went from Mooresfort to Limerick; the day was dark and sultry. I returned in a few days, and was immediately informed by my steward and butler that a most wonderful phænomenon had occured very soon after my departure; they produced the stone, and gave the following account of the occurance there had been thunder; some workmen who were laying lead along the gutters of my house were suddenly astonished at hearing a whistling noise in the air; one said, The chimney is on fire; another said, It proceeds from a swarm of bees in the air. On looking up, they observed a small black cloud very low, carried by a different current of air from the mass of clouds, from whence thay imagined this stone to have proceeded: it flew with the greatest velocity over their heads, and fell in a field about three hundred yards from the houses they saw it fall. It was immediately dug up, and taken into the steward's office, where it remained two hours cooling before it could be handled. This account I have had from many who were present, and agree in the one story. I saw myself the hole the stone made in the ground; it was not more than a foot in depth. Should any thing further be wished for from me, I shall feel myself very happy in procuring fromm the men themselves their own account, and transmitting their own exact words and description to the Society.

I am sir,
your very humble servant.
Maurice Crosbie Moore

13 Lower Mount-street
May 22, 1811.

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LIMERICK County Limerick
A shower of stones(H5) fell 10th September 1813 at 9am, after detonations.
One at Scagh(17 lb), Brasky(65 lb), Faha(24 lb), and several smaller stones near Adare. [6d]
Narrative of an eyewitness quoted in Nature, 1875, vol. xii. p485.
Narrative of an eyewitness quoted by Maskelyne, "Lecture Notes on Meteorites", Nature, 1875, vol. xii. p485. Reproduced in "The Meteoritic Hypothesis" by Norman Lockyer(1890)

Friday morning, the 10th of September 1813, being very calm and serene, and the sky clear, about nine o'clock, a cloud appeared in the east, and very soon after I heard eleven distinct reports appearing to proceed thence, somewhat resembling the discharge of heavy artillery. Immediately after this followed a considerable noise not unlike the beating of a large drum, which was succeeded by an uproar resembling the continued discharge of musketry in line. The sky above the place whence this noise appeared to issue became darkened and very much disturbed, making a hissing noise, and from thence appeared to issue with great violence different masses of matter, which directed their course with great velocity in a horizontal direction towards the west. One of these was observed to descend; it fell to the earth, and sank into it more than a foot and a half, on the lands of Scagh, in the neighbourhood of Patrick's Well, in the county of Limerick.

It was immediately dug up, and I have been informed by those that were present, and on whom I could rely, that it was then warm and had a sulphurous smell. It weighed about 17 lb., and had no appearance of having been fractured in any part, for the whole of its surface was uniformly smooth and black, as if affected by sulphur or gunpowder.

Six or seven more of the same kind of masses, but smaller, and fractured, as if shattered from each other or from larger ones, descended at the same time with great velocity in different places between the lands of Scagh and the village of Adare.

One more very large mass passed with great rapidity and considerable noise at a small distance from me; it came to the ground on the lands of Brasky, and penetrated a very hard and dry earth about 2 feet. This was not taken up for two days; it appeared to be fractured in many places, add weighed about 65 lb.! Its shape was rather round, but irregular.

It cannot be ascertained whether the small fragments which came down at the same time corresponded with the fractures of this large stone in shape or number, but the unfractured part of the surface has the same appearance as the one first mentioned. There fell also at the same time, on the lands of Faha, another stone, which does not appear to have been part of or separated from any other mass; its skin is smooth and blackish, of the same appearance with the first mentioned; it weighed about 74 lb.; its shape was very irregular, for its volume was very heavy. . . . It was about 3 miles in a direct line from the lands of Brasky, where the very large stone descended, to the place where the small ones fell in Adare, and all the others fell intermediately; but they appeared to descend horizontally, and as if discharged from a bomb and scattered in the air.

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KILLETER, County Tyrone
Stones(H5), fell 29th April 1844 at 3:30pm
After the appearance of a rapidly moving cloud and detonations, a shower of stones fell over several fields, but only a few fragments were preserved.[6g]
Extract from Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 1861, Volume 7, page 491
Extract from Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 1861, Volume 7, page 491

[ Note: a another version of this text appears in Volume 9, 1865, pages 341 to 343, the wording and puncation used differs slightly, and contains additional information quoted on other earlier falls in Ireland. No author is given. ]

The Rev. Samuel Haughton, F. R. S. Fellow of trinity College, Dublin, read a paper--

On the shower of aerolithes that fell at Killeter, county of Tyrone, on the 29th of April, 1844.

On the 29th of April, 1844, a shower of Meteoric Stones fell, in the sight of several people, at Killeter, near Castlederg, Co. Tyrone; they broke into small fragments by the fall, one piece only being found entire. It was (according to the testimony of a resident) "about as long as a joint of a little finger." The account given by three gentlemen, who, however, did not actually see the shower fall, was that they were at a distance of three or four miles, up the hills in the neighbourhood; it was a fine sunny evening, three or four o'clock. They heard "music" towards Killeter, which they supposed to proceed from a strolling German band, which they knew to be in the neighbourhood; they are under the impression that they heard the music several times in the course of the evening; they remember also to have noticed clouds in the direction of Killeter. On reaching Killeter the same evening, they were told of the wonderful shower of stones which had spread over several fields. I received the fragments of these stones from the Rev. Dr. M'Ivor, ex-Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and rector of Ardstraw; he writes to me that "it is now very difficult to get either a specimen of a stone or any very distinct intelligence of them: even the very rumour of them has nearly died out, and you might ask intelligent middle-aged men about the neighbourhood who had never heard them mentioned." He adds that the people of that locality are very "uncurious," and that if these were a veritable burning bush thereabouts, few would "turn aside to see."

The largest specimen given to me by Dr. M'Ivor weighed 22.23 grs. in air, and 16.32 grs. in water, showing that its specific gravity is 3.761. Both it and the smaller fragments presented the usual black crust and internal greyish-white crystalline structure and appearance, with specks of metallic lustre, occasioned by the iron and nickel alloy that was present. I analyzed it in the usual manner; but, owing to an accident, I was unable to determine the composition of the earthly portion soluble in muriatic acid.

The following is the mineralogical composition of these Aerolithes:--

[ omitted analysis ]

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DUNDRUM, County Tipperary
Stone(H5), witnessed fall 12th August, 1865 7pm
After detonations, a single stone of 4lb 14.5oz was seen to fall.
Extract from Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 1865, Volume 9, page 336
Extract from Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 1865, Volume 9, page 336

On the Meteoric Stone that fell at Dundrum, County of Tipperary, on the 12th August, 1865.

The Meteoric Stone, that forms the subject of the present Paper, fell near Dundrum, county of Tipperary, under circumstances that were described to me as follows, by the man in whose garden it fell:--

Statement of eyewitness.

"I, John Johnson, of the parish of Clonoulty, near Cashel, county Tipperary, was walking across my potato garden, at the back of my house, in company with Michael Fahy and William Furlong, on the 12th of August, 1865, at seven p. m., when I heard a clap, like the shot out of a cannon, very quick, and not like thunder; this was followed by a buzzing noise, which continued for about a quarter of an hour, when it came over our heads; and on looking up, we saw an object falling down in a slanting direction. We were frightened at its speed, which was so great that we could scarcely notice it; but after it fell, we proceeded to look for it, and found it at a distance of forty yards, half buried in the ground, where it had struck the top of a potato drill. We were some time in looking for it (a longer time than that during which we had heard the noise). On taking up the stone, we found it warm, milk warm, but not hot enough to be inconvenient. The next day it was given up to Lord Hawarden.

"John Johnson."

It was afterwards presented by Lord Hawarden to the Geological Museum of Trinity College, where it is publicly exhibited.

The stone weighed 4lbs. 14½ oz. It is rudely pyramidal in form; the triangular base being a freshly broken surface, and the faces of the pyramid being covered by the usual black vitrified glaze. It is evidently a portion of a much larger stone; and as it appears from the foregoing statement that its vertical velocity was not great, it is probable that other pieces of the larger mass may yet be found in the neighbourhood of Dundrum.

A singular feature is observable in this stone that I have never yet seen in any other:--the rounded edges of the pyramid are sharply marked by lines on the black crust, as perfect as if made by a ruler. This appearance is strictly confined to the surface, and seems to be a result of some peculiar tension of the fused crust in cooling; for no trace of any continuation of the lines can be found in the interior of the stone.

On examination with the lens, specks of metallic iron and of magnetic pyrites are visible, and also a few minute grains of chrysolith; no other minerals can be detedted in the paste, which is of a dull grey, and of loose texture, almost like a porous sandstone; and the whole stone would attract little notice, were it not for its specific gravity, and the metallic particles visible in it.

[ then followed by three and a half pages of chemical analysis ]

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CRUMLIN,County Antrim
Stone(L5), witnessed fall, 13th September 1902 at 10:30am
After detonations. a stone of 9lb 5.5oz was seen to fall. [7a]
The Mineralogical Magazine L. Fletcher, 1921, 19, p149
Memoirs of the British Astronomical Assocation, Vol. XII. Part I
From The Mineralogical Magazine and Journal of the Mineralogical Society.
No. 93. June, 1921. Vol. XIX.
The meteoric stone seen to fall near Crumlin, Co. Antrim, on September 13, 1902.
(With Plate III.)
By the late Sir Lazarus Fletcher, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S. Formerly Director of the British Museum (Natural History). With Chemical Analysis by G..T. Prior, M.A., D.Sc, F.R.S.

ON Saturday, September 13, 1902, at 10.30 a.m. (Irish time), a stone coming from the sky struck the earth (lat. 54° 38' 20" N., long. 6° 12' 10" W. of Greenwich) at a farm, belonging to Mr. Andrew Walker, situated in the district termed Crosshill, a mile to the north of the village of Crumlin, in which there is a station of the same name on the line of railway between Lisburn and Antrim. The place of fall is 3½ miles east of Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the British Isles, and 12 miles almost due west of Belfast, in which city nearly two thousand members of the British Association were then assembled for the annual meeting (September 10-17).

The fall first became known to people outside the immediate district of Crumlin through unsigned paragraphs which appeared in the Belfast 'Evening Telegraph' of Tuesday, September 16, and the Belfast 'Northern Whig' of the following morning; the news had been sent by Mr. S. R. Millar, who had Heard at Killead this noise as of explosion, and had afterwards been to view the fallen stone at Crosshill, where he had been told the particulars of its arrival by Mr. A. Walker himself. On September 20, Mr. W. H. Milligan of Belfast, in his hours of leisure an enthusiastic and skilful' observer of luminous meteors, and therefore particularly interested in the bodies which produce them, went to Crumlin to get more precise information than had yet been published relative to the stone and the phenomena connected with its fall. Later, the particulars of the fall reached the present writer, who, having learned through a telegram sent by him to Mr. Milligan that the stone was still in the hands of Mr. Walker, and from the latter that it had not been seen by any one familiar with the characters of such natural objects, left London immediately and arrived at the farmhouse on the morning of September 26. Recognizing at once that the stone was undoubtedly of celestial origin, he acquired it for the British Museum and sailed for Liverpool the same day with the stone in his care. The particulars given at the farm to Mr. Milligan and the present writer, and a preliminary description of the stone, were published immediately afterwards in 'Nature' (October 9, 1902).[2]

Mr. Milligan, then residing at Belfast within easy reach of Crumlin, was conveniently placed for continuing the inquiries relative to the circumstances of the fall, and for this purpose published in the Belfast 'Newsletter' (September 26) and the Belfast' Northern Whig' (October 14) appeals for communication to him of any observations which might throw light on the path of the stone in the earth's atmosphere. He also called attention to the fact that a fall of stone, due to the same meteor, might have occurred elsewhere in the district at the same time; and he addressed special letters of inquiry to railway "station-masters and to clergymen in the region concerned. Further, Miss A. Black, living at the" farm, acted as secretary in this matter for her uncle, Mr. Walker, and forwarded to the writer accounts given by those who were near the Spot at the time when the stone fell and by others, farther away, who had heard the noise and afterwards gone to the farmhouse to see and handle, or inquire about, the fallen stone. The information thus obtained has been incorporated in the present paper.

It may be added, that no other stone belonging to the fall was ever found.

The fall of the Stone.

The essential particulars of the fall of the stone at Crosshill may'be briefly summarized as follows:—At 10.30 a.m. on September 13, 1902, W. Walker, M. Montgomery, and W. John Adams were at work on Mr. Andrew Walker's farm: Walker and Montgomery were stacking hay in the farmyard, the former arranging the hay at the top of the stack, the latter forking it from the ground; Adams was only a few yards from them and was gathering apples beneath a tree near to a hedge which separated the farmyard from the cornfield in which he was him- self standing. All of them heard a loud noise, but Walker was the only one of the three to catch sight of anything in the air; the stack being nearly finished, he was high above the ground and exceptionally well placed for getting a good view of the immediate neighbourhood. He states that after the noise he saw something like a 'whirl' come through the air with the speed of lightning and strike the ground at a spot about 30 yards from the stack, the soil being thrown up at once to a consider- able distance above the standing corn, then 3 or 4 feet high and ready for the reaper. Adams likewise saw the cloud of dust rising about 20 yards away from where he was at work. He at once ran through the standing corn towards the dust-cloud and found that a hole appeared to have just been made in the ground; it was clear to him that, if any material body had entered, it must have been immediately covered by soil which had fallen over it and have gone to an unknown and perhaps considerable depth. Adams therefore hastened to the farmyard to get a spade, and in less than a quarter of an hour from the instant of fall had dug out a black, dense stone, different in aspect from any of the known stones of the district; it had penetrated the soil about 1½ feet, at which depth further progress had been stopped by an ordinary but much larger stone already in the ground. After the use of the spade, it was impossible for any one to determine later, from examination of the hole, the preeise direction in which the stone had entered the earth, and thus the final direction of its path in the atmosphere, but according to Adams it must have gone vertically downwards. That this was the case, approximately at least, is confirmed by an observation of Mr. Andrew Walker who, immediately after the fall, sought carefully, though without avail, for signs of injury to the standing corn, such as would; be expected to have been produced by a dense stone travelling through it at a great speed in a direction inclined to the vertical.

It may be mentioned that a boy about 14 years old, who was 200 yards away, told his father at the time that he had seen a dark body, like a crow, pass through the air into Mr. Walker's field and that a 'mist' (Miss Black) or ' smoke or sparks' (Mr. Milligan). followed in its path. But the line of flight indicated by him, some time after the event, to Mr. Milligan was nearly horizontal and almost from east to west, a direction which seems inconsistent with other observations; the boy was possibly too much confused or frightened at the time to be able to recall afterwards exactly what had happened. Nor would this be surprising, for a neighbouring farmer, working in the fields, was so impressed by the strange noise that he threw away his rake and called out to his men 'All is up now!' meaning that the end of all things was come; and he said afterwards that he had really thought it.

The stone was hot when extracted, and according to Mr. Andrew Walker was still warm to the touch nearly an hour after its fall, for which length of time it had been lying on the window-sill and in the open air. The present writer, remarking the position of the window- sill on which the stone had lain, asked, Mr. Walker, who seemed certain of the accuracy of the observation, if the continued warmth might not have been due to directly incident sunshine, but was told that such an explanation was impossible of acceptance for the morning of September 13 had been cloudy.

It was recorded in the account forwarded to 'Nature' that a sulphurpus odour had been noticed after the fall. A copy of the published account having been sent by the writer to Mr. Walker for his observations, the niece of the latter, in acknowledging the receipt of it, corrected a misapprehension. It appears that Mr. Walker had intended to convey to the writer the idea, that when the stone was dug out it had, not a sulphurous odour, but a sulphurous look. She added in explanation: 'there were one or two spots of something like sulphur on the stone; the best description I can give of them is that it looked as if a thin mixture of sulphur and water had dried, on it,'. It was perhaps this appearance that led to the statement in the newspaper account that 'the stone is of a dark metallic colour tinged with gold'.

In answer to an inquiry as to how it came about that the stone was quite clean although it' had been buried in the ground, Miss Black wrote that when the stone was: dug out scarcely any soil was adherent: to it; the little which adhered was on the lower side against which the soil caught between: the two stones had been violently;pressed, and it, was- easily removed. The ground was quite dry at the time of the fall and the stone was never washed, "Thus neither at the time of the fall nor afterwards had the stone been exposed to the action of water.

No luminous meteor seen.

As fireballs and shooting-stars, produced by the entry of quickly moving celestial matter into the earth's atmosphere, are found to die out when still some miles above the height to which clouds are observed to reach, they are only visible so long as they are travelling across a cloudless part of the sky. In the case of theCrumlin stonefall no luminous meteor is reported to have been seen by any one. That there was no rift in the clouds to make a view of the luminous meteor possible to terrestrial observers is evident from the following reports relative to the state of the sky at 10.30 o'clock on the morning of September 13:

Crumlin; 'The morning was cloudy'.
Killead: 'The sky at the time was cloudy, with a slight breeze blowing'.
Ardmore: 'The sky appeared dark and inky-coloured, and I concluded we might have some thunder during the day'.
Between: Brookmont and Moira: 'There were some very heavy-looking clouds .but there was no appearance of rain'.
Loughbrickland: 'The sky was dull, and no thunderclouds, or any clouds, were in sight at the time'.

Map of the district around Crumlin, marking places at which
detonations were heard. Map of the district around Crumlin, marking places at which detonations were heard.

Sounds heard by observers.
(a) At the place of fall and its immediate neighbourhood.
  1. Crosshill, near Crumlin.—Adams heard a peculiar rumbling noise followed by a sound like that of escaping steam; he thought it must be due to a boiler-explosion at the mill which is a mile distant to the south and near to Crumlin railway station; the sound preceded the arrival of the stone. Montgomery, on hearing the noise; thought that a train had run off the line; he walked to the hedge about a dozen yards away, looked over it towards the railway to see if any accident had happened, and still had time to walk back to the stack and put up a fork of hay to Walker before the cessation of the sound. Walker himself compared the noises with the hiss and explosion of a rocket.
        Mr. James Davison, farmer, who was reaping about 300 yards, away and was SSW. of the spot of fall, heard two distinct reports, like quarry blasts or cracks of thunder, followed immediately by a squealing noise overhead; he thinks it lasted 10-20 seconds; the sound seemed to him to come from the south-west. He followed with his eye the changing position of the apparent source of the sound until the sound itself ceased, but failed to see any object in motion; the sound seemed to increase in loudness as it came nearer and to pass away towards Carrickfergus; there was no 'rolling' noise suggestive of the rolling of thunder. About three minutes after the cessation of the sound a blast of wind caused a motion in the neighbouring trees.
         Mr. Mackey, farmer, loading hay in a NNE., direction from the spot of fall, likewise noticed the blast, and states that he expected to see the haycocks blown over.
         Mr. A. Scott, a friend of Miss Black, after imitating the noise in the presence of a few of those who had heard it, came to the conclusion that it must have lasted about half-a-minute, though the observers themselves think the time was much longer.
         Miss Harkness was coming down the road at Crosshill and heard a sound as of something passing overhead; she thought it came from the direction of Lisburn or Divis, the latter being a hill nearly due east of Crumlin.
         On the other hand, Mr. Andrew Walker himself, though good of hearing, remarked no sound at all;, he had just gone into the farmhouse about 40 yards away from the place of fall. His wife was in the open air, in the lane on the farther side of the farmhouse; she heard a noise which she compared with that made by a swarm of bees, though much louder, and also with that made by a reaping machine; others, she said, had likened it to the quick rattling noise made, by a reaping machine which 'has run away'. As the harvest was then in progress in the district, the sound of the reaping machine was a familiar one to the inhabitants.

(b) Places south of the place of fall.

  1. Ligoniel (Co. Antrim).—Mr. A. Walker had been told that the sound was heard at Ligoniel (Legoniel).
  2. Glenavy.—Mr. Hendron, school teacher, living about 1½ miles above Glenavy, heard a twofold report and then a rumbling noise followed by another report; the sound seemed to come from Lurgan way (Miss Black).
  3. Stoneyford.—Miss Black says that her cousin living near Stoneyford heard the roar of the stone as it came down. .
  4. Brookemount (three miles from).-—A man cutting down wheat in a field about 8 miles above Brookmount and between Brookmount and Moira, heard a number of very loud reports right overhead, the first one louder, than the others (Miss Black):
  5. Lisburn.—Mr. A. Walker had been told that the sound was heard at Lisburn and seemed to be travelling in the direction of Crumlin.
  6. Admore (Co. Armagh).-Mr. R. Jackson, principal teacher at Ardmore National School, writes as follows: 'I heard a sharp sudden report and a rumbling noise that lasted fully 2½ minutes. The noise resembled that of a carriage passing over a wooden pavement. I was standing on an elevated position adjacent to Lough Neagh, and the noise appeared to travel from north to south. Before heard that a meteoric stone had fallen, I remarked to some person that I had never heard thunder having such a peculiar noise; of course I thought it was thunder at the time'.
  7. Lurgan (four miles north of).—Mr. Robert McClure of Whitehall, Lurgan, is said to have heard a double report, apparently high up; it seemed to come from a south-east direction; he was at the Lough side, about 4 miles north, of Lurgan (Mr. Milligan).
  8. Carricknaveigh, near Boardmills (Co. Down).—The Reverend C. H. Waddell, B.D., had been told that some one at Carricknaveigh, near Boardmills, was said to have heard it.
  9. Dromore.—Miss Black had been told that the sound had been heard at Dromore. The Dromore station-master stated, in a letter to Mr. Milligan, that he himself had not heard it and that he knew of no one who had done so.
  10. Banbridge.—'It was just like the roar of a cannon, but rattled greatly' (James Mayne). The station-master at Banbridge did not know of any one who had heard the noise.
  11. Acton (Co. Armagh) [24 miles SSW. of Crosshill].—The Reverend W. F. Johnson, M.A., in a letter to Mr. Milligan says: 'I was in my yard at the time. I heard a loud noise followed by a rumbling sound. I thought that it was thunder, and ran out to see whether the storm was coming my way, so that I might be prepared for it. Of course, when I looked, there was no sign of anything of the kind, and I was consequently very much puzzled to know what was the cause of the noise. People who were working in the fields within half-a-mile of Acton Glebe also heard the same noise and thought a boiler had burst. To all the sound appeared to come from the direction of Banbridge'.
  12. Loughbrickland (Co. Down).—In a letter from Canon H. W. Lett to Mr. Milligan the following information was given: 'Andrew Bryson, George Bride, junr., and Hamilton Blemings, all resident at Loughbrickland, were reaping oats on the land of Canon Lett. They heard a loud noise of what they thought was a very big blast in a quarry, but as there is no quarry anywhere in the neighbourhood they concluded that a steam-boiler in one of the factories near Banbridge had blown up, as the sound seemed to come from that direction'.
        Miss Mary Lett, daughter of Canon Lett, was standing in front of Arghaderg Glebe House, Loughbrickland, and ' heard what she thought was a very loud clap of thunder; it seemed to be over the house, or somewhat in the direction of Banbridge. She noticed that there was only the one clap, and that it was very loud'.
        Mr. A. Campbell in a letter to Canon Lett says: 'the fall was heard by John Alexander Buller and also by his son Sandy, both being together at the time. Sandy asked his father if he heard the peal of thunder. He said it was not thunder but an explosion and probably in the gasworks. Sandy told me that although he called it thunder, it was very unlike it, not coming gradually, but with a loud noise'.
  13. Moneyslane (Co. Down) [26 miles S. by E. of Crosshill].—Mr. G. Finlay, station-master at Ballyroney, had been told that the sound was heard at Moneyslane; he had not met any one who had heard it at Ballyroney, two miles away.
    (c) Places north of the place of fall.
  14. Killead.—Mr. S. R. Millar, who was at Killead, says: 'At three, miles distance (from Crosshill) I heard in the sky, immediately above where the stone fell, three loud reports resembling the discharge of cannon, a low rumbling noise intervening between the reports. The sounds seemed to travel in a western, direction. The part of the sky from which the sounds proceeded appeared (metaphorically speaking) to be in a wild troubled state. The occurrence lasted about three minutes'.
  15. Antrim—Mr. A. Walker said that he had been told that the noise had been heard at Antrim: it is possible that he had in his mind only the above statement of Mr. S. R. Millar, who had called to see him and was closely connected with Muckamore, near Antrim.
  16. 17. Clogh (Co. Antrim) [22 miles W. of Crosshill].—Mr. Robert McKendry, farmer, told Canon Lett during a visit made by the latter to Clogh in the month after the; fall, that lie had heard a great noise some time before, possibly when the meteorite fell. Later, Canon Lett, who had known him from his birth, wrote to ask for a record of the observation and received the following: 'I heard a noise, as you say I mentioned to you, but paid so little attention to it that I could not tell you even the date or anything else particular: (1) the sound came, as I thought, from Belfast or its vicinity; (2) the sound resembled an enormous blast or explosion; (3) there was a long and loud rumbling sound, as if huge stones had been rolling down a steep place on some hard substance, as for instance the bottom of a quarry; in fact, the whole resembled blasting operations'. Havingiegard to the uncertainty of the date, and to the distance of Clogh from the other localities, it is possible that the sound heard by Mr. McKendry was independent of the Crumlin fall.

List British Meteorites (omitted )

Weight of the Crumlin Stone.

The Crumlin stone weighs 9 lb. 5½ oz.. (4239 grains) it is 7½ inches (185 mm.) long, 6½ inches (160 mm.) wide, 3½ inches (84 mm.) thick. Though small, it is the largest stone which has been-seen to fall from the sky to the British Isles since the year 1813, and is larger than any which has fallen in England or Scotland since 1795, in which year a stone weighing 56 lb. fell in Yorkshire. The heaviest stone known to have fallen in the British Isles weighs 65 lb.; it fell near the town of Adare in County Limerick in 1813; several other stones fell at the same time, two of them weighing 241b. and 17 lb. respectively.

Form; Surface; Crust; Crack.

The form of the Crumlin stone is irregular and distinctly fragmental; there are nine or ten faces, each of them slightly concave or convex; the edges are somewhat rounded. Five of the faces are similar to each other in character, and, except for minute pittings and projecting points,- are Bmooth; they show those large shallow concavities which are Common on meteoric stories, and have been likened in shape to 'thumbmarks'; the remaining faces are different from the others in aspect and have a low ridge-and-furrow development.

The stone is covered with a crust formed during the flight through the air. The crust is in parts black, in parts brown, the latter colour being perhaps a result of the action of the soil into which the stone penetrated; it is generally dull, but here and there lustrous; in one part it is iridescent in purple, blue, and pink colours. On the smoother faces already referred to, it is uniform in aspect; and where broken is seen to be in places 0-5 mm. thick, the greatest observed thickness being 1 mm.; that on the faces which have a ridge-and-furrow development is different in aspect and seems to be much thinner. A fresh.surface of fracture is quite light in colour. From these characters it is inferred that the meteorite broke up in an early part of its course through the atmosphere, at a time when the speed was still so enormous that the heat produced by the compression of the air in front of the quickly moving stone was sufficient to scorch completely and form a crust on the newly broken ridge-and-furrow surfaces.

Small portions of the crust are missing here and there, and the fresh- looking interior is then visible ; at first the breakages were thought to be results of injury after the stone had struck the ground, but on close examination it becomes manifest that the bits of crust must have flaked off during the flight of the stone through the air; for on several of the. fresh-looking surfaces there is a reticulated black material which has been in a fused; state and occasionally has formed a spherical drop, 0·25 mm; in diameter.

Here and,there, bright particles of metal (nickel-iron) interrupt the continuity,of< the dark crust. On one of the surfaces, of latest fracture there is visible a section of; a large flat nodule of troilite, the bronze-coloured; protosulphide of iron; the section is 13 mm. long and its greatest width is 3 mm.

A crack extending nearly halfway through the meteorite at a distance of an inch from an outer face was probably caused by the impact on the larger stone met with in the soil; the crack, where it comes to the surface, is a niillinieter wide.

Sections (not included here) headed...
"Magnetic Constituent."
"Photography; Modelling ; Cutting."
Specific gravity.
Chemical Composition and Microscopic Characters.' (G.T.P.):

The Crumlin (Co. Antrim) Meteorite Explanation of Plate III.
Meteoric Stone weighing 9 lb. 5½ oz. (4239 grams) which fell at Crumlin, Co. Antrim, on September 13, 1902. Reduced to about one-half the natural size.
Fig. 1.—View showing the smoother faces, the concavities ('thumb-marks'), and the crack probably caused when the meteorite struck a still larger, terrestrial stone buried in the soil.
Fig. 2.—View showing the two dominant kinds of surface. The face on the right was probably produced by the breakage of the meteorite at an early part of its journey through the earth's atmosphere.

[1] [The author had left the MS. of this paper in a,finished state, as here printed, up to the end of the paragraph headed ' specific gravity'.]

[2] [L. Fletcher, Fall of a meteoric stone near Crumlin (Co. Antrim) September 18. 'Nature', London, 1902, vol. 66, pp. 577-579, 2 figs. Another short account written by Sir L. Fletcher appeared in the 'Globe' newspaper, and was reprinted in Geol. Mag., 1902, pp. 521-522.] [A note of the fall was also given by W. E. Besley, 'The Crumlin Meteorite', Mem. Brit. Astron. Assoc, 1908, vol. 12, pp. 29-31, being included in the Eleventh Report of the Section for the Observation of Meteors. In this account, which varies slightly in some of the details, the conclusion drawn is: 'A consideration of the mapped places whence the detonation was heard indicates that, as Mr. Milligan remarks, "It would appear that the aerolite entered the denser strata of the atmosphere apparently at a high angle over the centre of Co. Down".]

Extract from the Memoirs of the British Astronomical Assocation, Vol. XII. Part I, the Eleventh report of the section for the observation of Meteors. Published April 24th, 1903

The Crumlin Meteorite.

On 1902, September 12,22h 30m (or, as the time has been generally referred to, September 13, 10:30 a.m.) an event of great interest took place--the fall of a meteorite in Ireland.

Three men were loading hay in a field at Crosshill, near Crumlin, County Antrim, when a noise like thunder or the rolling of drums broke overhead. One of them thought it was at Crumlin Mill, rather more than half a mile away, and described the report as twofold and followed by a whizzing noise or the sound of escaping steam. A second believed the cause was the running of a train off the line near by, and ran to look over the hedge, about a dozen yards off, returned, and put up a forkful of hay during the time the sound lasted. The former, from his position on the top of the haystack, saw something like a "whirl" going into the ground about 70 yards off in the adjoining field (sown with corn) with lightning speed. There was an explosion and the soil was thrown a considerable distance above the standing corn. When dug out the object, which had embedded itself in a straightdownward course for 13 inches, was found to be quite hot, continuing so for about an hour.

Another eye-witness of the fall was separated from the place by only a very small field. His attention was attracted by a hissing noise like that which a rocket produces and by an explosion. When the stone struck the ground he could see the dust rising up. He also went to the hole and estimated it as two feet deep.

A farmer was at work in one of his fields about a quarter of a mile distant towards the south-south-west from the locality referred to, when he heard a great noise overhead followed by a very heavy whirlwind and slight darkhess. A report followed by several crackling noises was distinctly audible, and then the whirlwind continued "Carrickfergus way." He was perfectly sure that the noise of wind continued after the report.

Another farmer loading hay in a north-north-easterly direction from Crosshill also noticed the great noise overhead, but apparently slightly at the side of his cart. It was followed by a whirlwind so great that he was afraid of its knocking over the haycocks.

Besides, of course, in the neighbourhood of Crosshill, the detonation was heard at Antrim (5 miles north by west), but, so far as information goes, at no other places towards the north, nor at any on the western side of Lough Neagh. It was, however, heard at many places in other directions, namely, Crumlin (1 mile south-south-west), Glenavy (3 miles south by west), Ballinderry (6½ miles south-south-west], Legoniel (8½ miles east), Lisburn ( 10½ miles south-east by south), Moira (11 miles south by west), Lurgan (13 miles south-south-west), Dromore (15 miles south by east), Banbridge (20 miles south by west), and Pointzpass (25 miles south-south-west). The observer at the last-named place noted a loud report followed by a rumbling noise in the direction of Banbridge.

Detailed descriptions of the path of the meteorite passing as a daylight fireball through the air would have been very desirable, but such accounts as are available are very meagre. The man who saw it going into the ground stated that he saw nothing to mark its track. One little boy at Crumlin said he saw "something like a crow with a mist after it." Mr. W. H. Milligan found a lad in the same village who seemed to have seen the track, and he; held a stick indicating a direction from the south or south-east to the north or north-west, but evidently at too low an angle for the flight. It is also described as having been seen at Ballinderry. A consideration of the mapped places whence the detonation was heard indicates that, as Mr. Milligan remarks,

"It would appear that the aërolite entered the denser strata of the atmosphere apparently at a high angle over the centre of Co. Down."
The foregoing particulars have been compiled from information collected and kindly supplied to the writer by Mr. W. E. Milligan, who was the first to describe the occurrence with any detail, and Mr. S. E. Milligan, both of Belfast; by Mr. T. Hill Scott, of Crumlin, who also furnished a plan of the farm; by Mr. A. E. Mitchell, a Member of the Meteoric Section, and by two other Members of the Association, Mr. J. O'Neill and Mr. Alexander Tate, of Belfast, as well as by Mr. Andrew Walker, of Crosshill, one of the witnesses of the phenomenon, and on whose land it fell.

The meteorite was purchased for the British Museum collection by Mr. L. Fletcher, Keeper of the Mineralogical Department, and has been on exhibition for some time in the Central Hall of the Natural History Branch, Cromwell Road, South Kensington. From the statement appended to the case it appears that the stone was actuully dug up by a man gathering apples not 20 yards distant from where it fell. It may also be mentioned for the benefit of those unable to visit the museum that, as there announced,

"the meteorite consists chiefly of stony material, probably a mixture of Olivine and Enstatite; through it are dispersed grains of a metallic alloy of Iron and Nickel. Here and there are small nodules of the bronze-colonred mineral Troilite, a compound of iron and sulphur not found as a native terrestrial product."
The weight of the specimen before being cut was 9 lbs. 5½ ozs. Its dimensions were 7½ x 6½ x 4½ ins.


1903, January 29.

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LEIGHLINBRIDGE, County Carlow, Ireland (provisional name)
Stones (L6), fell 28th November 1999 at 10:10pm
A very light coloured matrix with lots of bright metal flake and white chondrules, Fusion crust is dark black.
Details from Rob Elliott
Details from Rob Elliott, through whos efforts the stone where acquired

After a remarkable fireball, reported as "as bright as the full moon", of 10:10pm, 28th November 1999 seen by people of County Carlow, which lit up the sky and sent out booming explosions.
Leighlinbridge To date 4 Golf-ball sized fragments (totaling 271g) have been found, the first of which were found lying on a local road by a grandmother who wishes to remain anonymous. Cut sections reveal a very light coloured matrix with lots of bright metal flake and white chondrules. Fusion crust is dark black and wonderful!

Provisional name Leighlinbridge (pronounced Lock-lin-bridge)

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES (awaiting examination)

Note, once quoted or summarised in the main text, they removed from this list.
Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science
[6b]W. Higgins and M.C. Moore, 1811, 38, p262.
[6d]S. Maxwell, 1818, 51, p355.
[6g] S. Haughton, 1862, 23, p47.
[7] Nature Magazine
[7a]L. Fletcher, 1902, 66, p577