Draughtsman: [Yeakell, Thomas Jr.]
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
This drawing covers the Bedford Level and part of the East Anglian fens, with the town of Wisbech shown at top left. Drains across fens and marshland are highlighted in blue. These date from the 17th century, when James I appointed the Dutch engineer, Cornelius Vermuyden to direct drainage of the wetlands. Many local people opposed the scheme because the land involved was commonland on which they grazed cattle. As a result of Vermuyden's work, the fens became a very different landscape, transformed from one of flooded marshes to extensively farmed agricultural land.