Twisted piece of lead

Contributed by Castle Cornet - Guernsey Museums

Twisted piece of lead

This piece of lead was left in a twisted shape after a severe thunderstorm over 300 years ago. A bolt of lightning struck the donjon (or 'keep') of Castle Cornet in Guernsey, igniting the gunpowder magazine beneath it. The explosion dramatically changed the appearance of this iconic Castle. The Governor of the time, Lord Hatton, was thrown out of bed by the force of the explosion and landed unhurt on a Castle wall. He stayed asleep through all of this and was only woken by rain!
Sadly not everyone was so lucky; the explosion killed seven people including the Governor's wife and mother. The Guernsey Court ordered a day of fasting and it was forbidden to buy anything cleared from the debris. No Governor has lived in Castle Cornet since.

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