Place:Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England

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NameWisbech
Alt namesWisbeachsource: Family History Library Catalog
Wisbeach-St. Petersource: Family History Library Catalog
Wisbecesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 48
TypeTown
Coordinates52.667°N 0.167°E
Located inCambridgeshire, England
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Wisbech is a market town, inland port and civil parish with a population of 31,573 in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, England. The tidal River Nene runs through the centre of the town and is spanned by two bridges. The name is believed to mean on the back of the (River) Ouse, Ouse being a common Celtic word relating to 'water' and the name of a river that once flowed through the town.

Before the Local Government Act 1972 came into force in 1974 Wisbech was a municipal borough; it is now a civil parish in the Fenland District.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

During the Iron Age, the area where Wisbech would develop lay in the west of the Brythonic Iceni tribe's territory. Like the rest of Cambridgeshire, Wisbech was part of the kingdom of East Anglia after the Anglo-Saxon invasion.

The first authentic reference to Wisbech occurs c. 1000, when Oswy and Leoflede, on the admission of their son Aelfwin as a monk, gave the vill to the monastery of Ely. (J. Bentham, Hist. Ely, 87). In 1086 Wisbech was held by the abbot, there may have been some 65 to 70 families, or about 300 to 350 persons, in Wisbech manor. It must be remembered, however, that Wisbech, which is the only one of the Marshland vills of the Isle to be mentioned in the Domesday book, probably comprised the whole area from Tydd Gote down to the far end of Upwell at Welney.


Wisbech Castle was built by William I to fortify the town, and in later Tudor times became a notorious prison, especially for political prisoners among Catholic priests and bishops, many who died there of insanitary conditions. Among those held there were John Feckenham, the last Abbot of Westminster, and later two of the key participants in the Gunpowder Plot, Robert Catesby and Francis Tresham. The castle was rebuilt in the mid-17th century, and again in 1816 by Joseph Medworth, who also developed The Crescent, familiar as the setting in numerous costume dramas.

Peckover House, with its fine walled garden, was built for the Quaker banking family in 1722 and now owned by the National Trust. Formerly known as Bank House, the Peckover Bank later became part of Barclays Bank.

In the 17th century, the local inhabitants became known as the "Fen Tigers" because of their resistance to the draining of the fens, but the project turned Wisbech into a wealthy port handling agricultural produce. At this time Wisbech was on the estuary of the River Great Ouse, but silting caused the coastline to move north, and the River Nene was diverted to serve the town. The Wisbech Canal joining the River Nene at Wisbech was subsequently filled in and became the dual carriageway leading into the town from the east (now crossing the bypass).

On 27 June 1970, the heaviest point rainfall was recorded in Wisbech, when 2 inches (50.8 mm) fell in just 12 minutes during the Rose Fair.[1]

On 21 September 1979, two Harrier jump jets on a training exercise collided over Wisbech; one landed in a field and the other in a residential area. Two houses and a bungalow were demolished on Ramnoth Road, causing the death of Bob Bowers, his two-year-old son Jonathan Bowers and former town mayor Bill Trumpess.

The 5-mile (8-kilometre) £6 million A47 Wisbech/West Walton Bypass opened in spring 1982.

The port now houses a large number of berths for yachts adjacent to the 'Boathouse' development.

On 19 January 2012 BBC Look East reported that there were growing tensions in the town where one third of the population are eastern European migrants.

The town's market days are Thursday & Saturday.

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