Earthquakes in the UK are more common than you might think - we have around 20-30 each year that are felt by people, and hundreds of smaller ones that are felt by sensitive instruments. The largest British earthquake occurred near the Dogger Bank, 60 miles offshore in the the North Sea, and it had a magnitude of 6.1. As it was so far out to sea, the damage was reduced, but it was still powerful enough to cause minor damage to some east coast buildings. The most damaging British earthquake occurred in Colchester in 1884 with a magnitude of 4.6, damaging 1,200 buildings. The picture below shows a map earthquakes from 1932 to 1970 with a magnitude of 3 and above (yellow) and earthquakes from 19070 to present with a magnitude of 2 and above (red).
|UK seismicity (courtesy of the BGS)|