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Whittlesea Mere | Yaxley History

Whittlesea Mere

Whittlesea Mere was once Southern England’s largest inland lake. It stretched about three miles east to west and two-and-a-half miles north to south in the summer, while winter flooding could make it even larger. Until the 19th century it was a paradise for boaters and fishermen, teeming with wildlife all year round and used by skaters in the winter when frozen.  Click here to read more.


Mapping the Mere

Travel through time to see the cartographers at work mapping the Whittlesea Mere.


The Domesday Book

The Domesday Book was completed in 1086 and amounts to a survey of much of England and parts of Wales. The manuscript record was ordered by King William the Conqueror. The attached image shows the entries for Yaxley, Stanground, Woodston, Haddon, Water Netwon, Sibson,...

The Sweordora

The Sweordora were an Anglian tribe who, according to the Tribal Hidage [1] (which assessed their territory at 300 hides) lived in the vicinity of Sword Point, Whittlesey Mere, Cambridgeshire (formerly Huntingdonshire), probably in the 6th Century. [1] The Tribal...

Whittlesea Mere Map by John Bodger 1786

Click here to download the 1786 Map of Whittlesea Mere by John Bodger. One of the greatest curiosities in this Kingdom, being a most spacious and beautiful fresh-water lake, on which have been exhibited several Regattas, at which were present many Thousands of...

The Mere in 2012

Whittlesea Mere 2012, a photo by Yaxley Festival on Flickr. In 2012 a Wright Rain Super Touraine system irrigates the site of Whittlesea Mere with Yaxley in the distance – a curious notion perhaps to those who strove to drain the lake in the middle of the...