WEATHER watchers from Oxford University have been braving the freezing cold to record the sunshine from one of the highest points in the city.

Oxford University’s Radcliffe Meteorological Station - based in the gardens at Green Templeton College - is the longest-running continuous weather station in the UK.

The station, run by the University’s School of Geography and the Environment, holds the longest series of temperature and rainfall records for one site in Britain, with daily full records from 1815, and frequent observations dating as far back as 1767.

Weather monitoring was originally done at the Radcliffe Observatory but the weather station is now located in the grounds a few metres away.

On Wednesday Dr Neil Hart and Callum Munday climbed to the top of Department of Engineering Science where sunshine and wind measurements are taken.

Dr Hart said: “We were taking sunshine measurements from the Campbell–Stokes recorder, a glass orb which focuses sunshine onto a specially-designed card, and this dates back to 1853.

“It was so cold we had clear the frost off.”

While there was some sunshine and a clear blue sky it was chilly at the top of the engineering building - a temperature reading of - 4.7C was recorded by the station’s ground-based thermometers.

But it was even more bracing at RAF Benson near Wallingford - the Met Office weather station there recorded a temperature of -9C.