'The lightning struck in brilliant and irregular but brightly marked lines, now against the inky clouds, and now across the dark masses of the woods which run nearly up to the summit of the Downs. At one period of the storm …every flash of lightning was followed, indeed at times accompanied, by a sharp explosion like that of a rifled cannon, but of far heavier calibre than any that has yet been manufactured, which was only transformed into the ordinary rolling thunder when the sound had been caught up, echoed and re-echoed by the swelling slopes of the Downs, the dense masses of clouds which obscured the sky, and the hard red houses of the town of Epsom. Nor was it only the lightning and the thunder which compelled attention and aroused interest. The rain poured in torrents, and the hail literally "ran along the ground". The hailstones were of an unusually large size and as they struck the earth many of them, driven by the force of strong gusts of wind, rolled to some distance along the roads and level places. A large pond, three or four feet deep, had been formed by the damming up of the flood, and about one o'clock, when the road was at its most crowded state, a rich harvest was made by roughs, who carried pedestrians across on their shoulders; and cabs plying over the temporary ferry, demanded fabulous sums.'
'Within the space of half an hour the rain lay in sheets upon the course, formed strong streamlets down the roads leading from the running ground, and fairly drenched those unable to find shelter. The fair votaries of the Oaks who came in open carriages presented a pitiable sight, and the damage done to finery must have been enormous, the Stand being filled with damp and bedraggled damsels as rapidly as fashionable vehicles could empty their contents at the entrances to the building.'