Chatteris is a low-lying fen ‘island’ with only a few points higher than 10 metres. It is surrounded mostly by peat fens that, once drained, became productive agricultural land. Most of the waterways in the area are man-made drains, except for Hammond’s Eau to the south of Chatteris.
The ‘island’ of Chatteris (with Manea to the east) showing the contours and geology. For a key to the geology see the British Geological Survey map viewer.
Archaeological finds dating back to the Palaeolithic Period have been found locally, reflecting the use by man of this drier area of land over thousands of years. Chatteris Museum has some of the items found and has an exhibit on the ‘Ancient human occupation of Chatteris‘. This includes exceptional flints from the Palaeolithic and a wonderful Bronze Age shield. They also have a wealth of information on ancient man in the fenland covering the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Anglo Saxon and several other periods. An example is their poster on the THE PALEOLITHIC AGE IN CHATTERIS.
Information sheets on local finds are available here as downloads courtesy of Ian Mason, Chatteris Museum as part of the ‘Ancient Human Occupation of Chatteris’ project:
© Cambridgeshire Geological Society