The Magic of Flag Fen

A few days ago I came across a wonderful History Girls blog post about Flag Fen, which I’d very much like to share with the followers of my blog. Having been closely involved with Flag Fen since its discovery way back in 1982, it’s great to read a completely independent assessment of the place. And it would appear that Kath Langrish enjoyed her visit quite a lot. I love her infectious enthusiasm – something that seems to be in rather short supply in these troubled times. So read on, and if you haven’t yet visited, do make a New Year’s resolution to do so.

The Magic of Flag Fen – Katherine Langrish

Flag Fen

Around 1300 BC, a Bronze Age community living close to a rich wetland area near what is now Peterborough decided to build a massive wooden causeway leading from a point on dry land (now known as Fengate) across the marshy pools and waterways to a natural island about a kilometre out. The causeway was constructed as five long rows of tall sharpened stakes driven into the marsh, with a criss-cross of timbers and brushwood laid between them on which people could walk. It’s been estimated over 60,000 individual timbers were used to build the causeway, which followed the line of an earlier, Neolithic track – but the low-lying areas around the island were gradually becoming inundated. The site, known as Flag Fen, was discovered in 1982 by the archaeologist Francis Pryor (well known to fans of the popular archaeology show Time Team). Archaeological investigation has been going at Flag Fen ever since, and there is now a fascinating museum and visitor centre. I’ve long wanted to go there, and my wish came true one bright sunny day a few months ago.  Now read on…

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