The spire of a 19th century church crashes to the ground during the high winds of Storm Eunice

February 18, 2022, 5:29 p.m. | Updated: February 18, 2022, 5:46 PM

The tip of the arrow falls from the church.

Photo: Twitter @djstay81

Footage on social media shows the spire of St Thomas’ Church in Wells collapsing, as the UK and Ireland experience their highest wind speeds on record.

The steeple of St Thomas’s Church in Wells, Somerset, was filmed crashing to the ground on Friday morning during a day of extreme weather.

The vicar of St Thomas, the Reverend Claire Towns, said no one was injured but the village was “terribly shocked”.

“The building has been in place since the late 1800s and the spire here can be seen from quite a distance,” she told Sky News. “It’s quite a symbol in our community, so we’re really shocked that this happened. But we’re also very grateful that no one was hurt or even worse killed.

The 165-year-old Grade II listed church is one of a number of buildings and music venues damaged by high-speed winds.

Record winds of 122mph have left hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and Ireland without power, with millions being urged to stay indoors.

Some schools and businesses have been forced to close due to security concerns caused by bad weather, and several concert halls are now canceling events that were due to take place on Friday evening.

In London, the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena was gutted by Storm Eunice, with sections of its iconic tent roof floating in the River Thames.

A statement from the world-renowned venue said the building had been evacuated and the safety of their visitors remained of “paramount importance”.

Lauryn Hill and American hip-hop group Fugees were due to play the O2 Arena tonight as part of their 25th anniversary tour, but the event was canceled due to damage.

The roof of London's 02 Arena was torn off by high-speed winds

The roof of London’s 02 Arena has been ripped off by high-speed winds.

Image: Getty

Elsewhere, several other concerts and events have been canceled tonight, including opera performances by ENO The cunning little vixen and Rigoletto at the Royal Opera.

Jerry B. Hatch