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CHER Number:06846
Type of record:Monument
Name:Fen drainage, Fen Ditton, Horningsea and Stow cum Quy

Summary - not yet available

Grid Reference:Not displayed
Parish:Fen Ditton, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire
Horningsea, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire
Stow cum Quy, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire

Monument Type(s):

Full description

R1, Fen Drainage in the parishes of Fen Ditton, Horningsea and Stow cum Quy. The drainage in these parishes is described together as much of their fenland was intercommoned and without precise parochial boundaries until the C19. Probably the earliest system of drainage in the area is mid C17, and related to a rectangular block of land allotted to the Adventurers in 1637; originally a single lot of about 100 acres, it lay W of the present Stow cum Quy Fen (centred TL/513-/633-) near Fen Head and adjoined the Adventurers' Land in the Mod parish of Lode. The allocation followed earlier attempts at drainage which was not achieved until 1665 - 1666 (R2); at this date the land was drained, together with that to the NW, by way of White Lake Stream (see Lode (33)). Before 1800 the remaining fenland was enclosed and drained except for a large area (centred TL/515-/625-) which was left as common for the poor of these parishes (R3). This operation had started before 1726 when allotments in High Fen, Stow cum Quy (TL/507-/626-), were in existence (R4), and by the end of the century land NE of Clayhithe, in Horningsea (TL 510-/655-), was also drained. That Fenland which was outside the jurisdiction of the Bedford Level Corporation, and latterly of the Swaffham and Bottisham Drainage Commissioners, was also drained and divided in the C18. The Rough Fen, in Fen Ditton(TL/501-/625-) was ordered to be laid and kept several in 1705 (R5),and by 1723 Low Fen (TL/507-/612-) and Hoe Fen (TL/505-/607-) had been enclosed (R6). The boundaries of the Adventurers' Lands are traceable; the C18 drainage schemes survive although considerably obscured by later ditches and by coprolite digging.


1800, Map of Swaffham and Bottisham Fens (Map). SCB2627.


<R1> RCHM, 1972, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire. Volume II. North-East Cambridgeshire, 64 (map) (Bibliographic reference). SCB13360.


<R2> Untitled Source (Cartographic materials). SCB2811.


<R4> Untitled Source (Cartographic materials). SCB2800.


<R5> Untitled Source (Cartographic materials). SCB2612.


<R6> Untitled Source (Cartographic materials). SCB2623.

Sources and further reading

---Map: 1800. Map of Swaffham and Bottisham Fens.
<R1>Bibliographic reference: RCHM. 1972. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire. Volume II. North-East Cambridgeshire. 64 (map).
<R2>Cartographic materials:
<R4>Cartographic materials:
<R5>Cartographic materials:
<R6>Cartographic materials: