BoAr: Gallery: EEB: South Fen                         Latest edit 10 Feb 2009.  

Text, page and picture İR.J.PENHEY 2009.  

The Bourne Archive Gallery

Bourne South Fen, from the Exeter Estate Book of 1826/7

This is a detail, covering the western end of Bourne South Fen.



Figure 19. Plan of the features of the Western end of Bourne South Fen, bounded in the west by the Car Dyke, in the north by Bourne Eau and in the south by South Fen Pastures. (Photograph date February 2009. Taken from a coloured photocopy of the original page of the Exeter Estate Book. With thanks to Bourne Civic Society)

The Car Dyke marks the western edge, now of the Kesteven fens and in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, of the Royal Forest of Kesteven.

The South Fen had been enclosed as a result of the 1772 Enclosure Act (awarded 1777). By the date of this map, 1826/7, that arrangement was well settled in and at some stage, this part of the parish had come to be a source of minerals. The plot called Stone Pit is at the south-western edge, with Stone Pit Road leading to it. To the east of this road and served by Sand Pit Road, is a plot called Sand Pit. Close to the habitations of Eastgate, adjacent to the Car Dyke, are plots marked Mortar Pits and Mortar Pit respectively. Whether these last were sources of limestone or pit-shaped kilns in which the limestone was burnt for mortar is not said. It is probably the latter which would account for their position a little away from the evident source of the stone but on the relatively high ground of the Car Dyke bank. A third, rather less likely possibility is that they were mortars in which stone or burnt lime was ground.

The naming, shapes and positions of the plots and roads tally exactly with the information given in the Bourne Abbots Estate Map. However, there, Mortar Pit is rubbed to illegibility. Stone Pit is clearer there and the others are generally legible but with greater difficulty than here.

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