Monday, February 04, 2008

B is for......

Black Gold.

This is what the soil is known as in the Fens as it is extremely rich. The Fens were completely covered in forest after the Ice Age. As the ice melted the sea rose, flooding the low lying land and killing all the vegetation, which rotted into the swamps to form peat.

Over the centuries the North Sea ebbed and flowed across the Fens, creating "roddons" - wandering waterways whose courses you can still see today - and depositing layers of silt accross the land.

This mixture of peat and silt has created some of the best growing land in the world.

Information is taken from the "Cambridgeshire Fens Visitor & Accomodation Guide".

I also took a photo of the Town Sign while I was out. I plan to use this to make the front cover of the journal when it is finished.

Chatteris is recorded in the Doomsday Book as Cetriz or Cietriz. Both versions are thought to be Norman spelling of the Anglo-Saxon name of Ceatric, whose last syllable "ric" is Old English for a stream. The "stream" would have been the old Bedford Ouse which flowed along the western boundary of Chatteris.

The shield-shaped sign links the links the Bishops of Ely through the crowns. The lower section shows a plough as a symbol of the towns most important industry - farming - and the eels where included as at one time they were used for the payment of taxes.

As you can see from the plaques, the original sign was donated to the town by the WI in 1977, to mark the double celebration of the Queens Silver Jubilee and the Golden anniversary of the WI.

The sign was repainted and repaired in 2004 when the gardens were replaced and the clock was put up.

Information is taken from the "Village Signs of North Cambridgeshire" and "Chatteris - Then and Now".


  1. Excellent pictures and loads of interesting info about your town Helen. TFS

  2. Now I understand what black gold is! another interesting look at your part of the world

  3. You've been tagged helen- you need to visit my blog to find out what to do!


All genuine comments welcome but please don't spam. All comments are moderated and anything I consider spam is deleted.