Ilfracombe chapel hit by lightning

The moment the lightning struck the chapel.

The moment the lightning struck the chapel. - Credit: Archant

The 13th Century chapel had its windows blown out with the force of the lightning bolt during a storm on Friday evening.

The force of the lightning bolt blew the glass from the windows.

The force of the lightning bolt blew the glass from the windows. - Credit: Archant

A HISTORICAL hilltop chapel in Ilfracombe suffered broken windows and electrical damage after being struck by lightning on Friday.

St Nicholas Chapel was hit by lightning on Friday evening.

St Nicholas Chapel was hit by lightning on Friday evening. - Credit: Archant

The fire brigade were called at around 8.30pm after St Nicholas Chapel was hit by the bolt during the thunderstorm.

People on the Oldenburg enjoying the maritime festival felt the boat judder as the bolt hit, and initially thought it had struck the vessel.

But the lightening had struck the 13th Century chapel, blowing the glass from the light house on the top of the building and tripping out the electrics.


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Ann Doody, of Ilfracombe Rotary Club, which manages the building, said she received a call from the fire service as she is one of the key-holders.

The harbour master was also alerted, and his assistant opened up the building for the fire fighters to check there was no risk of fire following the strike.

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Ann and Rotary president Nigel Vince then made the building safe for business as usual the next day.

Nigel said: “We were extremely fortunate that the building did not catch fire and cause major damage and are heartened by the quick responses of the fire brigade and the harbour master.”

The building is owned by North Devon Council and will now be checked to make sure there is no further structural damage.

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