Wednesday, 8 May 2019

George The First

The Georgian Era is considered to be from 1714 - 1830 [or 1837 if you include King William 4] I'm not very clued up on this bit of history. I know some facts but they are all jumbled in my brain - much better with Tudors. And it is mostly the Regency / latter end too.
1792- founding of Baptist Missionary Society;1805 Trafalgar ;1807 Abolition of Slavery;1815 Waterloo;1833 Emancipation of Slaves Act.
So in an effort to find out a little more, we spend the last day of our Easter break in Wisbech. This is a town just over the Norfolk county border, crossing the River Ouse into Cambridgeshire. Wisbech pronounced Whizz-beach is neither whizzy, nor does it have a beach! The name is believed to come from Ouis-bec meaning the bank, or back, of the Ouse. 
In 1700 there were just under 2500 people here- but by 1800 the population had almost doubled. The Fens had been drained, and the coastline had moved north, so Wisbech was no longer on the estuary of the Ouse. The River Nene was diverted through the town instead. 

Fine Georgian properties were springing up everywhere. 
On Monday 29th April, Bob and I parked in the centre of the town, and set off to explore the town. ***Fortunately the National Trust [of which more later] have produced a fine map and heritage trail [details here]

We began with the fine Thomas Clarkson Memorial. Designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, the honours the man born in Wisbech in 1760. Along with Wilberforce and others, Thomas was a key figure in the Abolitionist Movement.
The memorial acknowledges others who worked with him, and shows Josiah Wedgwood's kneeling slave. I was glad someone had placed flowers there. We stood and thanked God for all they achieved, and remembered those who remain enslaved today, 200 years later.
Octavia Hill, founder of the National Trust was born here in 1838, and her parents founded the school - now home to a local theatre group.
Top left in the collage you see Bob walking across The crescent to study a motorbike [stop spouting history Ang, and look at this bike] Through the trees behind him, the Crescent is interrupted by "Ghost Passage". No spectres spotted., just a one-eyed cat on the wall.
We walked on to the Church of St Peter and St Paul. In one corner there are Icons and Russian Bibles- the Anglicans clearly share their worship space with Orthodox believers - how lovely. There was a great stained glass window- depicting Faith, Hope, Charity - and Prudence.
The sun shone, and we imagined the town in its heyday, bustling with merchants, and seamen from the ships moored close by. Men from Scandinavia and Holland, who had come to trade with these East Anglians. Builders and merchants and bankers, as well as agricultural folk from outlying villages who had come to market.
Now the town is quieter, many shops are boarded up. A renovation and renewal project is underway.I hope it brings some life back...
***Do check out the NT website, the trail is really good and their photos of the buildings are much better than mine.
Our coffee flasks were empty, and it was getting on for lunch time.
We crossed the bridge and walked along the North bank of the river to Peckover House- a fine Georgian Edifice,not belonging to the NT.
We began with lunch in the Garden Tea Rooms and afterwards looked at the house itself. But that is a blogpost  for another day...


  1. What a lovely day out! I love historic walks such as this - so interesting. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for sharing! It is very interesting.

  3. the stained glass windows are just gorgeous.

  4. I enjoy reading about the history of the places you visit. Thank you for sharing!


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