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Exploring the Fen-Edge Along the Roman Car Dyke

By Rex Sly

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Having written on the fen interior, its agriculture and its people, Rex Sly’s love for this enigmatic part of the country inspired him to research a part of the Lincolnshire fen-edge.

There is no straight line dividing the fen from the uplands. Small upland peninsulas run into the fens and conversely the fen creeps into the uplands, as if both have vied for their common rights against evolution.

Most of the fen-edge settlements relied on their own individual fens for their very survival. Villagers having grazing rights on common pastures in the fens up until they are enclosed and drained in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

His journey also follows the route of the Roman Car Dyke from Peterborough to Lincoln, visiting the villages and towns on the way.

Few of the travel writers from the past have written on these areas, but where they have Rex retraces their journeys, recalling their comments and adding what he sees today.

His family have lived and farmed on the fens since the 17th century, and his passion for this part of England shines through in this book.

From Comment
2018-08-01 Paula .... It would be difficult, though not impossible, to find an individual whose feet are so firmly rooted in the Fens as Rex Sly. It must also be said that the Fens is where his heart lies.

In his latest book, Rex has departed somewhat from the lives and occupations of Fen dwellers and turned to highlight a little known aspect of this part of the country, The Roman Car Dyke.

In doing so, he is attempting to encourage others to discover this aspect of his country by using the well known form of travelling dialogue. Think of Cobbetts Rural Rides, or Treves travels through Dorset and Norway’s in Devon and Cornwall.

This book should be enjoyed, either by the fireside, or as a companion when experiencing The Fen Edge.

David Smith July 2018.
2018-08-01 Paula .... This book truly captures the unheralded charm of the Fens where I was born, spent my youth and still visit. As an exile from the county now for many years the 'Coloured Waters' verse took me right back to Surfleet Sluice where I spent many years swimming ,boating and skating in the 50's. Little surprises -I was unaware that there were Wellingtonia trees near Dunsby and have only recently come across the expression 'luck money'. A lovely read. Ian Foreman

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