History Of Mareham-Le-Fen

From The Time Of Cromwell To 1900

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Enclosure of Mareham-le-Fen came relatively early with an Act of Parliament in 1745.  However, it is possible today to still see the structure of the open field system of pre-enclosure days.

The central part of the village is rectangular bounded on the two long sides and the two short ends by roads.  Part of the road on the north side is known as Field Side.  North of this the land is open fields, and it is easy to see that these were part of an open field system. 

To the south lies the Fen, and Mareham-le-Fen had quite a large allotment in that area.
By 1801 the village had a population of 383.
Several of the nearby villages were larger.  The next twenty years saw a 62% increase in its population, more than any of the other large villages.
It overtook neighbouring Revesby in size for the first time, from having 115 persons less in 1801 to having 37 more in 1821.
Much of this population increase was due to the reclamation of the Fens.  It would seem people moved into the village because of the availability of work and stayed, some of course, living in the Fens themselves. The village grew steadily and by 1841 reached a population of 713.  Ten years later, in 1851, it was 835.

In 1818 the former Rectory was largely rebuilt and added to in 1855.  Much of these Victorian additions were taken down in the 1960s.  The first church school was built in 1841 and is now a private house.

A dreadful hurricane swept the area in July, 1828.  It began to the south-west of Boston and eventually moved up the River Witham.  It was accompanied by thunder and lightning.  The hurricane picked up a heavy cart, a four-horse roller, trees, fifteen geese and some pigeons and carried them for some time.  It entered the Tumby and Fulsby Woods which lie on the western edge of Mareham-le-Fen.  Here considerable damage was done and huge trees were torn up and thrown down.

There is a memorial in St. Helen's church to James Roberts who died in 1826 .  His father was a farmer on the Revesby Estate.  Described as being a servant or footman Roberts sailed round the world in 1768, 1769, 1770 and 1771 with Sir Joseph Banks on board the ship Endeavour , commanded by James Cook. He made a voyage to Iceland with Sir Joseph Banks in 1772, before retiring to “Mareham Manor House in 1795.  In 1815 he married his second wife, Mary Mills, at Mareham-le-Fen.