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Post delivered to Thorney Museum!

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Thanks to a local resident down Willow Hall Lane, this post which used to stand on the western edge of the parish of Thorney was donated to Thorney Museum. It has now been installed at the Museum near the railway marker post.

From ancient times, Thorney was administratively separate from Peterborough. When Bishop Aethelwold refounded what we know as the “Fenland Monasteries” around 970-972, each was provided with valuable resources, including the lands surrounding their monasteries. With minor changes, the current Parish of Thorney has remained the same for over a thousand years.

Boundaries, however, tend to move. This might be the river – the Nene has only been in its current place at the south of the parish since the creation of Smith’s Leam (man-made channel) from Peterborough to Guyhirn in 1728. ( )

There are ecclesiastical boundaries, relating to the Church, and administrative ones.

In terms of dioceses, and which bishop the church in Thorney was headed by, Thorney was different from much of Peterborough because it was part of the Diocese of Lincoln until 1109 and then part of the new Diocese of Ely. In fact, Thorney only became part of the Diocese of Peterborough in 2007.

In terms of local government, Thorney was part of the Isle of Ely from 1889 to 1965, and seen as a part of Cambridgeshire from 1837. On 1 April 1965, Thorney was transferred into the “Huntingdon and Peterborough” county, and in 1998 became part of Peterborough Unitary Authority and still part of Cambridgeshire for many purposes, such as policing.

The post we have been gifted was from near the Catswater, which is an ancient watercourse. Francis Pryor, the archaeologist notes in his book “The Fens” (Head of Zeus, 2019) that it may even record the furthest north the Catavellauni tribe controlled in the Iron Age, before the Romans arrived.

Photo - thanks to Michael Sly

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