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Great Yorkshire and Humber Fen Project

#1 | Posted: 2 May 2008 10:17
Last night I went to a talk on the Yorkshire Fens. Apparently before they were drained there was 36,420 hectares of the Humberhead levels. The fens were a huge area from Lincoln to the East coast and Hull. It was a really interesting talk.

However my ears pricked up when I heard that Cornish writing in 1895 describes the carrs to the south-west of Doncaster as a outlier of the great fen that originally extended on the north to the river Humber,on the east to the lowlands of the Trent, and on the south into Nottinghamshire and included the Isle Of Axholme, Thorne Waste, Marshland and the fen of Hatfield Chase.

Before we were in contact I'd never heard of the Isle of Axholme.  After last nights talk I realised that it had indeed been an island.  I had always thought my great great grandad as a boatman had been on the canals but having seen that they probably were island dwellers it makes even more sense. Looking at one of the first e-mails I got from you where I sent you the stuff about William Albon Kelsey, I am still wondering how my great grandad got his book.

At one time I told you that I wasn't sure I had got the right Broughtons.  Having been to more talks on family history etc I now believe that the South Kelsey Broughton family are my ancestors and what I have learned about place names seems to confirm that Moortown at South Kelsey is indeed Marton which had been passed down from my great grandad to his son and then onto my dad,  My gggrandad died at 25 so didn't know his son and his son wasn't born in Lincs so I can see how it may have got corrupted.

Hope you don't mind me getting in touch and forgive me if you knew all the stuff about the fens.  It explains a lot also about the flooding we had last year. According to records lots of it had flooded before and of course it is area that was fens and had been drained so it seems to explain a lot.
Take care
Pat Hall

Dr. Ian D Rotherham
Tourism and Environmental Change Research Unit
Sheffield Hallam University f
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