This paper reviews the climatological influences on major past storm events in the North-east Atlantic. Analyses are based on a millenary record of sedimentological and historical impacts affecting coastal societies. The effects of 20 past storms have been found from sedimentary deposits from the last 1,000 years. Historical archives confirmed these events. This paper highlights five major storms that have markedly impacted coastal populations. They date back to 1351–1352, 1469, 1645, 1711 and 1751 AD. The 1351–1352 AD event is defined as a millennium storm that was “likely apocalyptical”, provoking serious damage and long lasting floods on much of the European coast. Major storm impacts have mostly been recorded during positive North Atlantic Oscillation phases. Four decreasing temperature phases are concomitant with 1300–1355, 1420–1470, 1560–1590 and 1690–1715 AD periods, during which much of the northern Atlantic coast of France underwent severe storm damages.