The Story of the Fens

by Frank Meeres The History Press

A richly illustrated history exploring life in the Fens.

Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as Peterborough City Council, all lay claim to a part of the Fens.  Since Roman times, man has increased the land mass in this area by one third of the size. It is the largest plain in the British Isles, covering an area of nearly three-quarters of a million acres, and is unique to the UK.

Stories within these pages include Tom Hickathrift (the first Fenland superhero). The fen people know the area as marsh (land reclaimed from the sea) and fen (land drained from flooding rivers running from the uplands). The Fens are unique in having more miles of navigable waterways than anywhere else in the UK. Mammoth drainage schemes in the 17th and 18th centuries changed the landscape for ever – leading to slowly but surely to the area so loved today. The wild and lonely roads encouraged highwaymen. Two who held up a coach near Wisbech in 1727 were caught and sent to Norwich Castle. In 1742 a man named Wrigglesworth, alias Smith, was confined to Newgate Prison in London for robbing the Wisbech mail, taking bills of exchange and bank notes. In July 1737 Dick Turpin arrived in Long Sutton (under the name of John Palmer) and was eventually hanged in York two years later.

Insightful, entertaining and full of rich incident, here is the fascinating story of the Fens.

 

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