The Word Garden Community Open Day

Friday 29 March: 2 - 4.30pm (talk 3pm)
Ely City Church, Silver Street, Ely

Fascinated by the Fens? We are piecing together the forgotten story of Scottish prisoners who shaped our landscape in the 1650'S. Come to our Community Day and bring anything that might tell us about the draining of the Fens, Maps, Articles, Family Stories, Objects.

Share your knowledge, meet field experts and talk to our researchers.


Image reproduced with the kind permission of the Middle Level Commissioners.

The Word Garden, has received a National Lottery grant of £49,200 for an exciting heritage project in East Cambridgeshire titled: 'The Scottish Soldiers, the Ouse Washes; the Origins of Landscape Change in the Fen' known simply as 'Origins'. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project commencing this autumn focuses on exploring a 'missing' history of events, 1650-53; researching the construction of the second parallel drain by Scottish prisoners-of-war, following their capture after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. These events not only transformed the landscape and surrounding environment they changed traditional Fenland occupations and lifestyles into the future.

Supported through the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), the project will enable three local schools to explore the history of this period, with workshops being delivered on film work and script writing. There will be a community open day in spring 2019, where local people can bring any information they have about this period. The project will culminate in a two-day celebratory event at Welney Wetlands Centre on 29th and 30th June 2019. There will also be a specially made short film based on the research findings.

The project, which is supported by Babylon ARTS, will enable approximately 110 young people from three local school, to learn more about this little-known historic event, whilst involving people locally in a unique heritage project.

Working closely with heritage professionals such as Paolo Forlin pictured below, from the Department of Archaeology, Durham University, linking the Origins project with their 'Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project', participants will gain a deeper insight into this previously under-researched part of their history. Increasing their awareness into the relationship between people, landscape and their natural environment.

Photograph credit - Helena g Anderson.

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