Flag Fen

If you listen to radio 4, you may have heard, a week or two ago, a series of programmes entitled The Fens: Discovering England's Ancient Depths.
The programmes explored the work of Francis Pryor, who, back in the 1980s, made a very important and exciting discovery of a Bronze Age site on the outskirts Peterborough.
The site known as Flag Fen, is just a few miles from where we live.
Just recently, we have been regular visitors with our little granddaughter and have enjoyed exploring this fascinating area.

Teasels growing on the edge of one of the many waterways.

The discovery that Francis Pryor made was of a kilometre long wooden causeway and platform which spanned wet and marshy Fen, meeting dry ground at either end. The causeway which was built 3300 years ago used 60,000 upright timbers and 2,500 horizontal planks, all of which had been shaped with tools.
It has been preserved in remarkable condition due to the wetland and part of the causeway can be seen in situ in a specially designed preservation hall.

The area is criss-crossed by dykes.

A large number of bones, swords and personal items were found buried next to the causeway which led the team of archaeologists to believe that it was a site of worship and ritual, rather than just a simple means of crossing from one piece of dry land to another.

One of the lakes on the site.

More recently, at the beginning of this century, another remarkable site was uncovered at Must Farm, just 2 miles from Flag Fen.
Here, archaeologists uncovered 8 pre-historic log boats, which again were in remarkable condition. 
These boats are undergoing conservation in a purpose built chiller and can be viewed at the Flag Fen site.

A reconstruction of a Bronze Age hut at Flag Fen.

As archaeologists continued to explore the site at Must Farm, they continued to make exciting discoveries. 
In 2015, explorations uncovered a settlement of several households built on platforms. Dubbed Britain's Pompeii, it is thought that the houses, which are the best preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever found, were suddenly abandoned by their occupants due to a fire. As a consequence, the houses slid into the river where they remained preserved by mud and silt for thousands of years.

Interior of the reconstructed hut at Flag fen.

Many objects have been recovered from the site, including, pots still containing the remains of food, textiles and glass beads and a large wooden wheel about 1m in diameter.

Soay sheep  at Flag Fen

The Flag Fen visitor centre reflects the shape and form of the original roundhouses.

If you are interested in reading more about this fascinating area and its history, these two websites give more details .
Flag Fen archaeology site
Must Farm

Speak soon




  1. Thank you for your informative post. We've driven past the signs to Flag Fen many times - now I really want to visit!

    1. It's a very interesting place. I hope you enjoy your visit if do go.

  2. On my to do list when next we are down visiting my parents. A great post.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you get to visit in person.

  3. Not an area of the country I'm familiar with but what an amazing discovery. Love those sheep, too!

    1. Isn't it fascinating to think about the people who once walked where we walk now!


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