Wisbech Information

Wisbech Information

Information from around Wisbech

Entertainments Search:

UK Information » Wisbech Information » History of Wisbech

History of Wisbech
Wisbech is located in the county of Cambridgeshire in the East of England. Today the town is a prosperous Georgian market town. The best example of its architecture are the buildings located on the North Brink. Wisbech once, was a busy port town in medieval times, however due to a diversion of the River Nene it was no longer necessary for trade to pass through Wisbech. This did not stop the town from bringing wealth to itself through other means of trade. The town first flourished with prosperity when the draining of the Fens happened in the 17th century. It allowed for the Fen land to be cultivated for agricultural and horticultural use. It has continued to flourish and today there are approximately 5,000 acres of fruit and flower growing land in the areas surrounding Wisbech. There is still today, a twice weekly market that displays the produce of local cultivators.

There are many famous people that were brought up in the town and whom dedicated their lives to helping others. Two of the most recognisable are Thomas Clarkson and Octavia Hill. Thomas Clarkson was born in Wisbech in the early 19th century. He devoted his time to fighting for an end to the African Slave Trade. He was a leader of the Abolitionist Movement and although he never personally managed to enforce a bill against such slavery, he is still very much credited for his role in initially bringing about the Emancipation Bill (1833). Octavia Hill was also born in Wisbech, in 1838, she was one of the co-founders of the National Trust. She was also recognised for her work concerning the Housing Reform. Both these people are well remembered in the town through a memorial and museum.

The town has one of the oldest schools in the country, Wisbech Grammar School, founded in 1379. Originally the school was divided over the river with the boys located on the South Brink and the girls on North Brink. In 1970 the two combined and all are now located at the extended North Brink premises.

The town is home to one of the oldest family breweries, Elgoods. Ales have been brewed here for over 200 hundred years with the Elgoods themselves producing their first brew in about 1878.

There are many historic buildings in the town, many residents are very proud to be associated with such history. Peckover House, situated on the traditional North Brink, holds historic values. The Peckovers were a quaker banking family with a finely decorated house. They passed it over to the National Trust 50 years ago who have kept the interiors and gardens beautiful.