The view today across Boston Haven to the fields of Toft and Scrane. Photo copyright Tormod Amundsen of biotope.no.

The view across Boston Haven to the fields of Toft and Scrane

This wonderful photo, by Tormod Amundsen of biotope.no, is the headline image for my chapter on Early Fenne and Scrane. The view looks north-north-east from Frampton Marsh, across Boston Haven, to Toft (now called Fishtoft) in the middle, Scrane to the right, and Freiston beyond. At the top left, you can just see the town of Boston itself. Fenne is barely visible to the east of Boston.

These were the homelands of the Rochfords of Fenne.

The waterway running into the Haven is the Hobhole Drain, built in the 1800s to improve the marshy fenland in the area. Projects like this had already been going on in the area for well over 1000 years. The Rochfords and their ancestor, Ralph of Fenne, were actively building dikes and ditches from the 1100s onwards. A quarter of a mile inland from the modern seashore is a bank built by the Romans to keep the sea out in their time. No wonder Sir Sayer de Rochford was appointed to commissions to repair these constructions at least eleven times during the 1300s.

For more about the ancient works in the area, I recommend H. E. Hallam’s excellent Settlement and Society, A Study of the Early Agrarian History of South Lincolnshire (Cambridge University Press, 1965), which you can read on here on Google Books.

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