(Leicestershire, England, UK) L6 (stone)
Fell 24th December 1965
The United Kingdom's Christmas Meteorite!
This is the second to last recorded meteorite fall in the UK.....they don't happen very often! Not only is this one of the few, very rare English witnessed falls, but it's one of the small percentage of meteorites that actually hit something man-made. Some fragments bounced off a car, one broke a house window and ended up in a plant pot (the owner threw it away!), and a larger piece put a sizeable crater (impact pit) in a resident's driveway. In recent years, highly oxidised fragments have also been found in the town's rain gutters during renovation, so hitting a house can also be added to its list of targets.
Many pieces of the freshly fallen Barwell chondrite (totalling the approximate size of a Christmas turkey!) were quickly recovered after they fell, meaning that most specimens have a very fresh and light coloured matrix with little staining.
Obtaining ANY of the British meteorite falls is virtually impossible now, except perhaps through museum trade.
Fragments of the Barwell meteorite were bouncing off parked cars 26 years before the world famous "car smashing" Peekskill meteorite, making Barwell quite a remarkable, though often forgotten, English meteorite.