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Encyclopedia > The Fens

The Fens, also known as the Fenland, consist of an area of former wetlands in the eastern part of England, stretching around the coast of The Wash from Lincolnshire to Norfolk and reaching into the historic counties of Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Suffolk. These former wetlands consisted both of alkaline peat fen and silt freshwater and salt marshes which were virtually all drained by end of the nineteenth century. Sunset view of the Back Bay Fens in Boston The Back Bay Fens (also called The Fens), once a salt water shallow bay, is now a fresh water park in Boston, Massachusetts, USA designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. ... The term fen or the acronym FEN can refer to: A type of wetland, similar to a marsh or bog. ... Small Text A subtropical wetland in Florida, USA, with an endangered American Crocodile. ... The Wash, as seen looking west from Heacham, Norfolk The Wash is also the name of a 2001 film. ... Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the east of England. ... Norfolk (IPA: //) is a low-lying county in East Anglia in the east of southern England. ... Cambridgeshire (abbreviated Cambs) is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west. ... Huntingdonshire (abbreviated Hunts) is a part of England around Huntingdon, which is currently administered as a local government district of Cambridgeshire. ... Northamptonshire (abbreviated Northants or Nhants) is a landlocked county in central England with a population of 629,676 (2001 census). ... Suffolk (pronounced ) is a large historic and modern non-metropolitan county in East Anglia, England. ... Acids and bases: Acid-base reaction pH Self-ionization of water Buffer solutions Systematic naming Acid-base extraction Acidity function Proton affinity Acids: Strong acids Weak acids Superacids Lewis acids Mineral acids Organic acids Bases: Strong bases Weak bases Superbases Lewis bases Organic bases edit In chemistry, a base is... A fen is a sere, a phase in the natural ecological succession from the open water of a lake to (for example) woodland. ... Silt is soil or rock derived granular material of a specific grain size. ... This article is about marsh, a type of wetland. ...

The position of The Fens in eastern England.[1]

The drainage was organized into river drainage, the passing of upland water through the region and internal drainage of the land between the rivers. The internal drainage was designed to be organized by levels or districts each of which includes the fen parts of one or several parishes. The details of the organization vary with the history of their development but the areas include: Image File history File links Fens-OMC-2. ... Image File history File links Fens-OMC-2. ... For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ... A civil parish (usually just parish) in England is a subnational entity forming the lowest unit of local government, lower than districts or counties. ...

  • The Great Level of the Fens is the largest region of fen in Eastern England. Since the seventeenth century, it has also been known as The Bedford Level, after the Earl of Bedford who headed the seventeenth century drainage adventurers in this area; his son became the first govenor of the Bedford Level Corporation. During this period of drainage (which changed the landscape considerably but was largely unsuccessful), the Great Level was divided into three levels for administration purposes:
    • The South Level lies to the south-east of the Ouse Wash and surrounds Ely.
    • The Middle Level lies between the Ouse Wash and the River Nene.
    • The North Level lies between the Nene and the River Welland.
  • Deeping Fen, in the southern part of Lincolnshire, between the River Welland and the River Glen/Bourne Eau.
  • The Black Sluice District much of which was known as the Lindsey Level when it was first drained in 1639, from the Glen and Bourne Eau to Swineshead. Its water is carried through to the Haven at Boston

These were all re-drained at one time or another after the Civil War. Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford (1593-1641), was the only son of William Rusell, Lord Russell of Thornhaugh, to which barony he succeeded in August 1613. ... Venture capital is a general term to describe financing for startup and early stage businesses as well as businesses in turn around situations. ... The Most Noble Sir William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford KG PC (August 1616–September 7, 1700) was a British peer and soldier, the son of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford. ... Statistics Population: 15,102 Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: TL535799 Administration District: East Cambridgeshire Shire county: Cambridgeshire Region: East of England Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Cambridgeshire Historic county: Cambridgeshire Services Police force: Ambulance service: East of England Post office and telephone Post town: ELY... The River Nene is a river in the east of England. ... The River Welland is a river in the east of England, 56 km (35 m) long, and it has been a main waterway across the part of The Fens called South Holland for thousands of years. ... The River Welland is a river in the east of England, 56 km (35 m) long, and it has been a main waterway across the part of The Fens called South Holland for thousands of years. ... There are two rivers Glen in Britain, both small and both in England. ... Bourne Eau rises in the Wellhead, otherwise known as St Peters Pool, in the town of Bourne, Lincolnshire at Grid reference TF093199. ... Swineshead is a village in Lincolnshire, England, around 7 miles west of Boston. ... The Haven is the tidal river of the Port of Boston, Lincolnshire in England. ... , Boston is a town and small port in Lincolnshire, on the east coast of England. ... For other uses, see English Civil War (disambiguation). ...

  • The Witham Commission Fens.
    • First District: from Washingborough to Billinghay Dales.
    • Second District: Holland Fen.
    • Third District: north of the River Witham above Bardney.
    • Fourth District: East, West and Wildmore Fens and the Townland from Boston to Wainfleet.
    • Fifth District: Kyme Eau to Billinghay Skirth.
    • Sixth District: Helpringham Eau to Kyme Eau.

These were drained in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.[2] Washingborough is a small village three miles east of the city of Lincoln on the lower slopes of the limestone escarpment known as the Lincoln Edge where the River Witham breaks through the Lincoln Edge. ... Billinghay is a village and civil parish in the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England, about ten miles north-east of Sleaford. ... The River Witham is a river in the east of England. ... Bardney is a small town 10 miles east of Lincoln, sitting on the north side of the River Witham, notable only for the huge British Sugar factory which supplies most of the local jobs. ... Categories: Canada geography stubs | Ontario communities ...

Contents

Introduction

The Fens are very low-lying compared with the surrounding chalk and limestone "uplands" that surround them, in most places no more than 5-10m above sea level. Indeed, owing to drainage and the subsequent shrinkage of the peat fens, many parts of the Fens now lie below mean sea level. The Needles,situated on the Isle Of Wight, are part of the extensive Southern England Chalk Formation. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Peat in Lewis, Scotland Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter. ... For considerations of sea level change, in particular rise associated with possible global warming, see sea level rise. ...


Before they were drained in the modern period, the Fens were liable to periodic flooding, particularly in winter due to the heavy load of water flowing down from the uplands and overflowing the rivers. Some areas of the fens were permanently flooded, creating small lakes or "meres", while others were only flooded during periods of high water, but this was enough that in the pre-modern period arable farming was limited to the higher areas of the fen-edge, fen-islands and "townlands" (this was an arch of higher silt ground around the Wash, where the towns near the Wash had their arable fields). The rest of the Fenland was dedicated to pastoral farming, such as of cattle and sheep, as well as fishing, fowling, etc. In this way, the medieval and early modern Fens stood in contrast to the rest of southern England, which was primarily an arable agricultural region. For general information about the genus, including other species of cattle, see Bos. ... Species See text. ... Fishing is the activity of hunting for fish by hooking, trapping, or gathering. ... Fowling is a term which is perhaps better known in The Fens than elsewhere. ...


Since the advent of modern drainage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Fens have been radically transformed, such that today arable farming has almost entirely replaced pastoral, and today the economy of Fens is heavily invested in the production of crops such as grains, vegetables and some cash crops such as rapeseed. The word grain has several meanings, most being descriptive of a small piece or particle. ... A plate of vegetables Vegetable is a culinary term which generally refers to an edible part of a plant. ... Binomial name Brassica napus L. Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapa, Rapaseed and (one particular cultivar) Canola, is a bright yellow flowering member (related to mustard) of the family Brassicaceae. ...


The 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica estimated extent of the Fens as being considerably over half a million acres (2,000 km²), however, this estimation includes some of the Lincolnshire Fens which are not normally included in the Great Level, such as the lower drainage basins of the rivers Witham and the Welland, while excluding the fens on the east and north coasts of Lincolnshire. The Great Level itself, including the lower drainage basins of the Nene and the Great Ouse, now covers approximately 1,300 km² (320,000 acres). Significant towns in the fens include Boston, Spalding, Ely, Wisbech and King's Lynn. Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the east of England. ... The Fens may also refer to the Back Bay Fens, park in Boston, Massachusetts. ... The River Witham is a river in the east of England. ... The River Welland is a river in the east of England, 56 km (35 m) long, and it has been a main waterway across the part of The Fens called South Holland for thousands of years. ... Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the east of England. ... The River Nene is a river in the east of England. ... The Great Ouse at St Neots The River Great Ouse is a river in the east of England. ... To help compare orders of magnitude of different geographical regions, we list here areas between 1,000 km² and 10,000 km². See also areas of other orders of magnitude. ... , Boston is a town and small port in Lincolnshire, on the east coast of England. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Statistics Population: 15,102 Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: TL535799 Administration District: East Cambridgeshire Shire county: Cambridgeshire Region: East of England Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Cambridgeshire Historic county: Cambridgeshire Services Police force: Ambulance service: East of England Post office and telephone Post town: ELY... OS Grid Reference: TF460098 Lat/Lon: Population: 20,200 (2001 Census) Dwellings: 9,145 (2001 Census) Formal status: Town Administration County: Cambridgeshire Region: East of England Nation: England Post Office and Telephone Post town: Wisbech Postcode: PE13, PE14 Dialling Code: 01945 Wisbech (IPA: ) is a market town and inland port... Kings Lynn is a town and port in the English county of Norfolk. ...


Formation and Geography

At the end of the most recent glacial period, known in Britain as the Devensian, ten thousand years ago, Great Britain was joined to Europe, notably, by the ridge between Friesland and Norfolk. The topography of the bed of the North Sea indicates that the rivers of the southern part of eastern England would flow into the River Rhine, thence through the English Channel. From The Fens northward along the modern coast, the drainage flowed into the northern North Sea basin, which, in turn, drained towards the Viking Deep. As the land-ice melted, the rising sea level drowned the lower lands, ultimately establishing the coastlines of today. Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... The Wisconsin (in North America), Devensian (in the British Isles), Midlandian (in Ireland), Würm (in the Alps), and Weichsel (in northern central Europe) glaciations are the most recent glaciations of the Pleistocene epoch, which ended around 10,000 BCE. The general glacial advance began about 70,000 BCE, and... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Capital Leeuwarden Queens Commissioner drs. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... The Rhine canyon (Ruinaulta) in Graubünden in Switzerland Length 1. ... The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean, located between the coasts of Norway and Denmark in the east, the coast of the British Isles in the west, and the German, Dutch, Belgian and French coasts in the south. ...


Around five thousand years ago, previously inland woodland of the Fenland basin became salt-marsh, a saltwater environment, and fen, a freshwater environment. In general, people writing of the Fens have been vague about the nature of the different sorts of wetland once found there. However, it is clear that the English settlers who named the various features of the place from about the year 450 onwards, noticed eight kinds. Events August 25 - Marcian proclaimed Eastern Roman Emperor by Aspar and Pulcheria. ...

  • Wash, which at greater or shorter intervals had bodies of water flowing over it, as in tidal mud-flats or braided rivers.
  • Marsh, which was the higher part of a tidal wash on which salt-adapted plants grew. It is generally, now usually called salt-marsh. This probably arises from the fact that salt was produced in such places.
  • Tidal creeks. For naming purposes, the English settlers seem to have ignored them unless they were big enough to be regarded as havens. The creeks (in the British sense) reached from the sea, into the marsh, townland and in some places, the fen.
  • Townland, a broad bank of silt on which the settlers built their homes and grew their vegetables. This was the remains of the huge creek levees developed naturally, mainly during the Bronze Age.
  • Fen, a broad expanse of nutrient-rich shallow water in which plants had grown and died without fully decaying. The outcome was a flora of emergent plants growing in saturated peat.
  • Moor. This developed where the peat grew above the reach of the land-water which carried the nutrients to the fen. Its development was enabled where the fen was watered directly by rainfall. The slightly acidic rain washed the hydroxyl ions out of the peat, making it more suitable for acid-loving plants, notably Sphagnum species. This is exactly the same as bog but that name entered English from the Irish language. Moor has a Germanic root and came to be applied to this acid peatland as it occurs on hills.
  • Mere, an expanse of shallow, open water. It was more or less static but its shallow water was aerated by wind action.
  • Rivers.

In general, of the three principal soil types found there today, the mineral-based silt, resulted from the energetic marine environment of the creeks, the clay was deposited in tidal mud-flats and salt-marsh while the peat grew in the fen and bog. The peat produces the black soils which are directly comparable with the American muck soils. This article is about marsh, a type of wetland. ... In United Kingdom usage, the term creek refers exclusively to a tidal water channel. ... A levee, levée (from the feminine past participle of the French verb lever, to raise), floodbank or stopbank is a natural or artificial slope or wall, usually earthen and often parallels the course of a river. ... Peat in Lewis, Scotland Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter. ... Species See text. ... Lütt-Witt Moor, a bog in Henstedt-Ulzburg in northern Germany. ... This article is about the modern Goidelic language. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Silt is soil or rock derived granular material of a specific grain size. ... The Gay Head cliffs in Marthas Vineyard are made almost entirely of clay. ... Peat in Lewis, Scotland Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter. ... Muck is a soil made up primarily of humus from drained swampland. ...


This aerial photograph shows Boston at the bottom and the pale silt land along the margin of The Wash. The palest fields just inland from Boston are covered in plastic to warm the soil early in the season. The dark peat land of the fen and the moor of East Fen lies inland from the silt while the peat of West Fen lies further inland still, beyond the Devensian moraine at Stickney. The pale upland of the Wolds is at the top edge. , Boston is a town and small port in Lincolnshire, on the east coast of England. ... The Devensian glaciation is a name for an ice age period which occurred between 120,000 and 10,000 years ago. ... Moraine at Mono Lake, California, United States Moraines clearly seen on a side glacier of the Gorner Glacier, Zermatt, Switzerland. ... Stickney is a small village lying in the middle of the Lincolnshire Fens, just east of New Bolingbroke. ... The Lincolnshire Wolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (designated as such in 1973) covering 560 square kilometres of north and east Lincolnshire, England. ...


History

Pre-Roman Settlement

There is evidence for human settlement near the fens from Mesolithic period on; indeed, the evidence suggests that Mesolithic settlement in Cambridgeshire was particularly along the fen-edges and on the low islands within the fens, to take advantage of the hunting and fishing opportunities of the wetlands.[3] The Mesolithic (Greek mesos=middle and lithos=stone or the Middle Stone Age[1]) was a period in the development of human technology between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of the Stone Age. ...


Roman Farming and Engineering

The Romans constructed the road, the Fen Causeway across the fens to join what would later become East Anglia and central England: Denver to Peterborough. They also linked Cambridge and Ely but generally, their road system avoided The Fens except for minor roads designed for extracting the products of the region. These were notably, salt and the products of cattle: meat and leather. Sheep were probably raised on the higher ground of the townlands and fen islands, then as in the early nineteenth century. The Roman period also saw some drainage efforts, including the Car Dyke along the western edge of Fenland. Fen Causeway or the Fen Road is the modern name for a Roman road of England that runs between Denver in the east and Peterborough in the west. ... Norfolk and Suffolk, the core area of East Anglia. ... Denver is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. ... This article is about the city in England. ... Geography Status City (1951) Region East of England Admin. ... Statistics Population: 15,102 Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: TL535799 Administration District: East Cambridgeshire Shire county: Cambridgeshire Region: East of England Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Cambridgeshire Historic county: Cambridgeshire Services Police force: Ambulance service: East of England Post office and telephone Post town: ELY... For general information about the genus, including other species of cattle, see Bos. ... Species See text. ... The Car Dyke was and to large extent still is, a ditch which runs along the western edge of The Fens in eastern England. ...


In the past thousand years, the marsh has been found along the coast of The Wash, the remaining tidal waters. Moving inland, next there is a broad bank of silt deposited until the Bronze Age, on which the early post-Roman settlements were made. Inland again is the former fen proper. (Compare the sequence of salt-marsh, spit and fen formerly found at Back Bay, Boston, Mass.) From these settlements, the silt strip is known as The Townland. How far seaward the Roman settlement extended is unclear owing to the deposits laid down above them during later floods. It is clear that there was some prosperity on the Townland, particularly where rivers permitted access to the upland beyond the fen. Such places were Wisbech, Spalding and Swineshead, this last, replaced a thousand years ago by Boston. All the Townland parishes were laid out, elongated as strips, to provide access to the products of fen, townland, marsh and sea. On the Fen-edge, parishes are similarly elongated to provide access to both upland and fen. The townships are therefore often nearer to each other than they are to the distant farms in their own parishes. The Wash, as seen looking west from Heacham, Norfolk The Wash is also the name of a 2001 film. ... Silt is soil or rock derived granular material of a specific grain size. ... Sunset view of the Back Bay Fens in Boston The Back Bay Fens (also called The Fens), once a salt water shallow bay, is now a fresh water park in Boston, Massachusetts, USA designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. ... OS Grid Reference: TF460098 Lat/Lon: Population: 20,200 (2001 Census) Dwellings: 9,145 (2001 Census) Formal status: Town Administration County: Cambridgeshire Region: East of England Nation: England Post Office and Telephone Post town: Wisbech Postcode: PE13, PE14 Dialling Code: 01945 Wisbech (IPA: ) is a market town and inland port... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Swineshead is one of eighteen parishes which, together with Boston, form the Borough of Boston in the county of Lincolnshire, England. ... For other uses, see Boston (disambiguation). ...


After the end of Roman Britain, there is a break in written records. When written records resume in Anglo-Saxon England, the names of a number of peoples of the Fens are recorded in the Tribal Hidage and Christian histories. These peoples (with their supposed territories) include North Gyrwe (Peterborough/Crowland), South Gyrwe (Ely), the Spalda (Spalding), and Bilmingas (area of South Lincs). Gyrwe can mean: Gyruum, representing Anglo-Saxon [æt] Gyrwum = [at] the marsh dwellers, from Anglo-Saxon gyr = mud, marsh, from which Gyrwe, Saxon name for Jarrow The Gyrwe, reconstructed Saxon farm at Bedes World at Jarrow Gyrwe (compare Welsh gyrwyr), native British or Celtic name for marsh drovers in... This article is about the city in England. ... Trinity Bridge, Crowland Location within the British Isles Crowland (modern usage) or Croyland (medieval era name) is a town in Lincolnshire, England, positioned between Peterborough and Spalding, with two major sites of historical interest. ... Statistics Population: 15,102 Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: TL535799 Administration District: East Cambridgeshire Shire county: Cambridgeshire Region: East of England Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Cambridgeshire Historic county: Cambridgeshire Services Police force: Ambulance service: East of England Post office and telephone Post town: ELY... Spalding may refer to: // Albert Spalding (1850–1915), American baseball player and sporting goods manufacturer Albert Spalding (violinist) (1888–1953), American composer and leading concert violinist Baird Thomas Spalding (1857–1953), English-American author Mother Catherine Spalding (1793-1858) was an influential American Roman Catholic nun Charles H. Spalding, American...


The Medieval Fenland

In the early Christian period of Anglo-Saxon England, a number of Christian individuals sought the isolation that could be found among the wilderness that the Fens had become. These saints, often with close royal links, include Guthlac, Etheldreda, Pega, and Wendreda. Hermitages on the islands became centres of communities which later became monasteries with massive estates. Guthlác (683-714) of Crowland, Lincolnshire, England is a saint. ... Æthelthryth (also Etheldreda, Ediltrudis, Audrey or Awdrey) (c. ... Pega (c. ...


Monastic life was disrupted by Danish raids and settlement but was revived in the mid-10th century monastic revival.


These fenland monastic houses include Ely, Thorney, Crowland, Ramsey, Peterborough, and Spalding. As major landowners, the monasteries took a significant part in the early efforts at the drainage of the Fens. Thorney Abbey was located near the village of Thorney, Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom. ...


The Royal Forest

For a period in most of the twelfth century and the early thirteenth century, the south Lincolnshire fens were afforested. The area was enclosed by a line from Spalding, along the Welland to Deeping, then along the Car Dyke to Dowsby and across the fens to the Welland. It was deforested in the early thirteenth century, though there seems to be little agreement as to the exact dates or the opening and closure of the period. It seems likely that the deforestation was connected with the Magna Carta or one of its early thirteenth century restatements, though it may have been as late as 1240. The Forest would have affected the economies of the townships around it and it appears that the present Bourne Eau was constructed at the time of the deforestation, as the town seems to have joined in the general prosperity by about 1280. (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... A royal forest has been a concept of land management England since the late eleventh century. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The River Welland is a river in the east of England, 56 km (35 m) long, and it has been a main waterway across the part of The Fens called South Holland for thousands of years. ... Statistics Population: 6,200 Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: TF137102 Administration District: South Kesteven Shire county: Lincolnshire Region: East Midlands Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Lincolnshire Historic county: Lincolnshire Services Police force: Lincolnshire Police Fire and rescue: {{{Fire}}} Ambulance: East Midlands Post office and telephone... The Car Dyke was and to large extent still is, a ditch which runs along the western edge of The Fens in eastern England. ... Dowsby is a village in South Kesteven, Lincolnshire, England. ... Magna Carta Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally Great Paper), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. ... Events Batu Khan and the Golden Horde sack the Ruthenian city of Kyiv Births Pope Benedict XI Deaths April 11 - Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, also known as Llywelyn The Great Prince of Gwynedd Monarchs/Presidents Aragon - James I King of Aragon and count of Barcelona (reigned from 1213 to 1276) Castile... Bourne Eau rises in the Wellhead, otherwise known as St Peters Pool, in the town of Bourne, Lincolnshire at Grid reference TF093199. ... Location within the British Isles Bourne is a town in southern Lincolnshire, England. ... For broader historical context, see 1280s and 13th century. ...


Draining the Fens

Early Modern Attempts to Drain the Fens

Though some marks of Roman hydraulics survive, and the medieval works should not be overlooked, the land started to be drained in earnest during the 1630s by the various Adventurers who had contracted with King Charles I to do so. The leader of one of these syndicates was the Earl of Bedford who employed Cornelius Vermuyden as their engineer. The scheme was imposed despite huge opposition from locals who were losing their livelihoods in favour of already great landowners. Two cuts were made in the Cambridgeshire Fens to join the River Great Ouse to the sea at King's Lynn - the Old Bedford River and the New Bedford River, also known as the Hundred Foot Drain. Great Migration (Puritan) Thirty Years War in full swing in Europe 1632 - Just a couple of months before his death in battle, Swedish king Gustav II Adolf The Great ratifies the establishment of University of Tartu, the second university in the Swedish Empire September 8, 1636 - A vote of the... Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, King of Scotland and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. ... Sir Cornelius Vermuyden (born Tholen, Netherlands, 1595; died London, c. ... For other Rivers named Ouse, see Ouse The River Great Ouse is a river in the east of England. ... Kings Lynn is a town and port in the English county of Norfolk. ... The Old Bedford River is a tributary of the River Great Ouse in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, England. ... The New Bedford River, also known as the Hundred Foot Drain because of the distance between the tops of the two embankments on either side of the river, is a man-made tributary of the River Great Ouse in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, England. ...


Both cuts were named after the Fourth Earl of Bedford who, along with some "Gentlemen Adventurers" (venture capitalists), funded the construction, which was directed by engineers from the Low Countries, and were rewarded with large grants of the resulting farmland. Following this initial drainage, the Fens were still extremely susceptible to flooding, and so windmills were used to pump water away from affected areas. Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford (1593-1641), was the only son of William Rusell, Lord Russell of Thornhaugh, to which barony he succeeded in August 1613. ... Venture capital is a general term to describe financing for startup and early stage businesses as well as businesses in turn around situations. ... It has been suggested that Regents: Low Countries be merged into this article or section. ... A Dutch tower windmill, sporting sails, surrounded by tulips A windmill is an engine powered by the wind to produce energy, often contained in a large building as in traditional post mills, smock mills and tower mills. ...


However, their success was short-lived. Once drained of water, the peat shrank, and the fields lowered further. The more effectively they were drained the worse the problem became, and soon the fields were lower than the surrounding rivers. By the end of the 17th century, the land was under water once again.


Though the three Bedford levels were, together, the biggest scheme, they were not the only ones. Lord Lindsey and his partner, Sir William Killigrew had the Lindsey level (see Twenty) inhabited by farmers by 1638 but the onset of the Civil War permitted the destruction of the works which remained to the fenmen's liking until the Black Sluice Act of 1765. Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey (17 December 1583 – Edge Hill 24 October 1642) // Early life Queen Elizabeth I was his godmother, and to her two favourite Earls, whose Christian name he bore, where his godfathers. ... Twenty is a small, somewhat remote hamlet with an unusual name, four miles east of the market town of Bourne, (between Bourne and Spalding) in Lincolnshire, England, at National Grid reference TF153207, 52. ... These military conflicts are known as English civil wars. ... An Act of Parliament or Act is law enacted by the parliament (see legislation). ...


Many original records of the Bedford Level Corporation, including maps of the Levels, are now held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies at the County Record Office Cambridge. Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies Service (CALS) is a UK local government institution which collects and preserves archives, other historical documents and printed material relating to the modern county of Cambridgeshire, which includes the former counties of Huntingdonshire and the Isle of Ely. ...


Modern Drainage

The major part of the draining of the Fens, as seen today, was effected in the late 18th and early 19th century, again involving fierce local rioting and sabotage of the works. The final success came in the 1820s when windmills were replaced with powerful coal-powered steam engines, such as Stretham Old Engine, which were themselves replaced with diesel-powered pumps and following World War II, the small electrical stations that are still used today. // The term steam engine may also refer to an entire railroad steam locomotive. ... Stretham old engine, alongside the River Great Ouse Stretham old engine is a steam-powered engine just south of Stretham in Cambridgeshire, England, that was used to pump water from flood-affected areas of The Fens back into the River Great Ouse. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


The dead vegetation of the peat remained un-decayed because it was deprived of air (the peat was anaerobic). When it was drained, the oxygen of the air reached it and the peat has been slowly oxidizing. This and the shrinkage on its initial drying as well as removal of the soil by the wind, has meant that much of the Fens lies below high tide level. The highest parts of the drained fen now being only a few metres above mean sea level, only sizable embankments of the rivers, and general flood defences, stop the land from being inundated. Nonetheless, these works are now much more effective than they were. The question of rising sea level under the influence of global warming remains. Peat in Lewis, Scotland Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter. ... For considerations of sea level change, in particular rise associated with possible global warming, see sea level rise. ... For considerations of sea level change, in particular rise associated with possible global warming, see sea level rise. ... Afsluitdijk, a 32 km dike in the Netherlands. ... Global mean surface temperatures 1850 to 2006 Mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980 Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earths atmosphere and oceans in recent decades and the projected...


Restoring the Fens

In 2003, a project was initiated to return parts of the Fens to their original pre-agricultural state. Traditionally the periodic flooding by the North Sea, which renewed the character of the fenlands, was characterized as "ravaged by serious inundations of the sea, for example, in the years 1178, 1248 (or 1250), 1288, 1322, 1335, 1467, 1571" (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911). In the modern approach, a little farmland is to be allowed to flood again and turned into nature reserves. By introducing fresh water, organizers of the Great Fen Project hope to encourage species such as the snipe, lapwing and bittern. Endangered species such as the fen violet will be seeded. Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been suggested that Reserve design be merged into this article or section. ... The Great Fen Project is a habitat restoration project being undertaken in the East Anglian region of the United Kingdom. ... Binomial name Gallinago gallinago Linnaeus, 1758 Subspecies The Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) is a small, stocky shorebird. ... Binomial name Vanellus vanellus (Linnaeus, 1758) The Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), also known as the Peewit or just Lapwing, is a bird in the plover family. ... Binomial name Botaurus stellaris Linnaeus, 1758 The Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae. ... Binomial name Viola persicifolia Schreber Fen violet Viola persicifolia (syn. ...


Fen settlements

Many historic cities, towns and villages have grown up in the fens, sited chiefly on the few areas of raised ground. These include

  • Ely ("Isle of Eels"), a cathedral city. Ely Cathedral, on a rise of ground surrounded by fenlands, is known as the "Ship of the Fens".
  • Chatteris, a market town.
  • March, a market town and administrative centre of the Fenland District.
  • Spalding, a market town, administrative centre of South Holland, and famed for its annual Flower Parade.
  • Whittlesey, a market town
  • Wisbech ("capital of the fens"), a market town.
  • Peterborough, a cathedral city, is the largest of the many settlements along the fen edge. It is sometimes called the "Gateway to the Fens".

Ancient sites include Statistics Population: 15,102 Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: TL535799 Administration District: East Cambridgeshire Shire county: Cambridgeshire Region: East of England Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Cambridgeshire Historic county: Cambridgeshire Services Police force: Ambulance service: East of England Post office and telephone Post town: ELY... Binomial name Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) The European Eel, Anguilla anguilla, is a snakelike fish. ... Front of Ely Cathedral Ely Cathedral (in full, The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Ely) is the principal church of the diocese of Ely, in Cambridgeshire, England, and the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Ely. ... CHATTERIS PEOPLE HAVE WEBBED FEET, SOPHIE FULLER IS HOMOSEXUAL Location within the British Isles Chatteris is one of four market towns in the Fenland district of Cambridgeshire, situated in The Fens between Whittlesey and Ely. ... Location within the British Isles March is a historic market town in the Cambridgeshire fens, on the River Nene. ... Fenland is a local government district in Cambridgeshire, England. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Whittlesey (historically known as Whittlesea - the name of the railway station is still spelt this way - or Witesie) is an ancient Fenland market town around six miles (10 km) east of Peterborough in the county of Cambridgeshire in England. ... OS Grid Reference: TF460098 Lat/Lon: Population: 20,200 (2001 Census) Dwellings: 9,145 (2001 Census) Formal status: Town Administration County: Cambridgeshire Region: East of England Nation: England Post Office and Telephone Post town: Wisbech Postcode: PE13, PE14 Dialling Code: 01945 Wisbech (IPA: ) is a market town and inland port... This article is about the city in England. ...

Flag Fen Iron Age roundhouse reconstruction Flag Fen near Peterborough, England is a Bronze Age site, probably religious. ...

Setting in fiction

  • Cauliflower Drove is an internet murder mystery set in the Fens.
  • In Northern Lights (novel), by Philip Pullman, the Fens are home to the water-dwelling Gyptians, who hide the protagonist, Lyra, in the Fens. These Fens, however, are far larger than those is our world, and stretch right across the English Channel/North Sea and connect with the lowlands of the Netherlands.
  • Barnabas Sackett, patriarch of an American pioneer lineage detailed in the Sackett novels by Louis L'Amour, was born and raised in the Fens, which are a prominent setting of the first book in the series, Sackett's Land.
  • In one of The Belgariad novels, characters Garion, Belgarath and Silk row through marshy water channels in the Drasnian swamplands known as The Fens.
  • In Harry Potter, the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, Salazar Slytherin is described by the sorting hat to come "from fen."
  • Thorn, a short tale and Interactive Fiction by Eric Mayer, choses the Fens as a ghostly setting.

Penelope Fitzgerald's novel "The Bookshop" is set in the fens. The Nine Tailors is a 1934 mystery novel by British writer Dorothy L. Sayers, her ninth featuring sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. ... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (Oxford, 13 June 1893 – Witham, 17 December 1957) was a British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist. ... // Hereward the Wake, known in his own times as Hereward the Outlaw or Hereward the Exile, was an 11th century leader in England who led resistance to the Norman Conquest, and was consequently labelled an outlaw. ... Charles Kingsley A statue of Charles Kingsley at Bideford, Devon (UK) Charles Kingsley (June 12, 1819 – January 23, 1875) was an English novelist, particularly associated with the West Country. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Waterland is a novel by Graham Swift, made into a 1992 movie starring Jeremy Irons. ... Graham Colin Swift (born May 4, 1949) is a well-known British author. ... Waterland is a novel by Graham Swift, made into a 1992 movie starring Jeremy Irons. ... Peter F. Hamilton Peter F. Hamilton Peter F. Hamilton (born 1960, Rutland, England), is a British science fiction author. ... Mindstar Rising is a novel by Peter F. Hamilton, published in 1993. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Harold Rudolph Foster (August 18, 1892 in Halifax, Nova Scotia - July 25, 1982) created the comic Prince Valiant. ... Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, or simply Prince Valiant, is a comic strip created by Hal Foster. ... Northern Lights is the first novel in the His Dark Materials series, written by British novelist Philip Pullman and published in 1995. ... Philip Pullman CBE (born October 19, 1946) is an English writer. ... // Sackett Family The Sackett Family is a fictional American family featured in a number of western novels and short stories and historical novels by American writer Louis LAmour. ... Cover Louis LAmour book, Showdown at Yellow Butte. ... The Belgariad is a five-book fantasy epic written by David Eddings. ... In physical geography, a channel is the physical confine of a river or slough, consisting of a bed and banks. ... This article is about the Harry Potter series of novels. ... The Silver Chair is part of The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of seven fantasy novels written by C.S. Lewis. ... Clive Staples Lewis (November 29, 1898 – November 22, 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis, was an Irish author and scholar mostly resident in England. ... Puddleglum is a Marshwiggle in C. S. Lewiss novel The Silver Chair, part of The Chronicles of Narnia. ... Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Suborders See text for suborders and families. ... Look up Pike and pike in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


References

  1. ^ After Keith Lindley, Fenland Riots (1982)
  2. ^ Bedford Levels information from Ordnance Survey 1:50 000 First Series Sheets 142 (1974) and 143 (1974). Lincolnshire information from Wheeler, W.H. A History of the Fens of South Lincolnshire 2nd edn. (1896) facsimile edn. Paul Watkins (1990) ISBN 1-871615-19-4
  3. ^ Christopher Taylor, The Cambridgeshire Landscape (London: Hodder and Stroughton, 1973), 30.

External links

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Fens (248 words)
The Fens is an area of wetlands in the counties of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire in England.
In 2003, a project was initiated to return parts of the Fens to their original pre-agricultural state.
Wisbech is known as the "Capital of the Fens".
The Fens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2673 words)
The Fens, also known as the Fenland, are an area of former wetlands in the eastern part of England, stretching along the coast of Lincolnshire to Kings Lynn and reaching into the counties of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk.
The dark peat land of the fen and the moor of East Fen lies inland from the silt while the peat of West Fen lies further inland still, beyond the Devensian moraine at Stickney.
There is evidence for human settlement near the fens from mesolithic period on; indeed, the evidence suggests that mesolithic settlement in Cambridgeshire was particularly along the fen-edges and on the low islands within the fens, to take advantage of the hunting and fishing opportunities of the wetlands.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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