the Fens

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Fens, the,

district, E England, a flat lowland, W and S of The Wash. Extending c.70 mi (110 km) from north to south and c.35 mi (60 km) from east to west, it is traversed by numerous streams. The area was originally the largest swampland in England, formed by the silting up of a bay of the North Sea. The higher places were sites of Roman stations. The Romans attempted drainage and built a few roads across the Fens; however, the area had become marshy by Anglo-Saxon times, either from natural causes or from allowing Roman work to decay. The first effective drainage systems were developed in the 17th cent. by Cornelius Vermuyden, a Dutch engineer. Drainage and construction of dikes and channels in the various sections or "levels" continued through the 19th cent., but problems of land sinkage, water accumulation, and periodic flooding existed throughout the period. As a result of flooding in the 20th cent., a drainage-improvement project (completed in the mid-1960s) was undertaken. The district is largely under intensive cultivation. Agriculture is plentiful on the fertile alluvial soils, with vegetables, fruit, and wheat being the principal crops. Wildlife sanctuaries have been preserved. The district is also called Fenland.
References in classic literature ?
In Paddington all Cornwall is latent and the remoter west; down the inclines of Liverpool Street lie fenlands and the illimitable Broads; Scotland is through the pylons of Euston; Wessex behind the poised chaos of Waterloo.
uk JANUARY 14-16: Celebrate medieval-style at the Straw Bear Festival in Whittlesey in the Cambridgeshire Fenlands where there's plenty of dancing and a man dresses in straw.
99) A lyrical first novel by the Pembrokeshire writer that follows the fossatores - ditch diggers - from the fenlands of Lincolnshire who were commandeered to do the bidding of Edward I and march to Flint to lay the foundations of the king's castle.
In 1981, he himself established that a previously anonymous and undated Latin chronicle concerning early East Anglia had been compiled in the late 10th century by Byrhtferth, schoolmaster at the newly founded abbey of Ramsey, deep in the eastern fenlands.
We were glad, however to find that among the flattened fenlands where her remains are said to lie, local people treasure the memory of her life among them and do and will, look after her bones.
From Alexandra Palace to the fenlands, then to the magnificent proportions of York Station and on into the industrial North East, across the breathtaking bridge to Newcastle and along the romantic coast to Berwick and Edinburgh.
Sandra Miller-Hooker writes that, of over 500 ex-racers homed during six years, about 90 per cent were picked up on the fenlands and marshlands of rural Lincolnshire, Suffolk and Essex.
Yesterday the jurors retraced the final steps of the best friends around the small Fenlands market town, after they left Holly's house shortly after 6.
The jury were expected to visit key sites around the small Fenlands market town including 5 College Close - the former home of their alleged murderer, Ian Huntley.
Meanwhile, another is happily settled in a Fenlands cottage that was once the scene of a horrific double murder.
This volume covers an area rich in history and in geographical diversity, from the Wash and its coastal fenlands to the heaths of Breckland.
Jonathan Ellis-Miller's new studio for Mary Banham in the Cambridgeshire Fenlands demonstrates a sleek, tectonic honesty allied to an environmental responsiveness.