THIS month marks the anniversary of one of the most significant natural disasters to ever hit Colchester.

Almost 135 years ago, the town and surrounding villages were badly shaken and damaged by an earthquake which struck the area.

Almost every building in Wivenhoe and Abberton, and some in other town and villages as far way as Ipswich, were struck by the earthquake on the morning of April 22 1884 at shortly after 9.15am.

It is thought to be the most destructive example of an earthquake to have hit Britain in at least the past 400 years, damaging around 1,250 buildings.

A series of postcards, seen here, which have now become collectable items, were produced in the aftermath.

With photography being in its infancy only a few would have been able to document such events which were then turned into postcards so people could mark the event.

Gazette: damage inside the church at Langenhoe caused by the earthquake..

Since the early 1900s postcards have been used by people from of all walks of life as a cheap and easy form of communication.

With the practice of sending them now dwindling due to modern technology it is still one of the few ways major historical incidents from that time can be visually recalled.

Despite being such a major event, there is little in the town to recall the remarkable event.

It gets a mention in a plaque which was put on the pavement outside St Peter’s Church, on the information trail from North Station to High Street, installed about two years ago but there is currently no memorial.

While it is not considered one of the most destructive earthquakes in the world it is still thought to be the most serious to have hit Britain in at least the past four centuries.

Gazette: Graft - workmen shown working on a badly damaged building

At exactly 9.18am the earthquake was felt across Wivenhoe, Abberton, Langenhoe and Peldon in particularly and lasted around 20 seconds, causing the surrounding areas to rise and fall violently and measuring 4.6 on the Richter Magnitude which measures the impact of earthquakes.