Sunday, 26 January 2014
King John loses his treasure in the Wash!
But what sort of treasure was it ?
The Wash is a large bay on the east coast of England that lies between the counties of Lincolnshire and Norfolk. It is one of the largest estuaries in the United Kingdom and is fed by the rivers Witham, Welland, Steeping, Nene and the Great Ouse. Collecting 10% of the water that drains from the countries lands it is the second largest inter-tidal, uncovered when the tide is out, mudflats in Great Britain.
People have lived on the surrounding fertile land for centuries and it was this stretch of water that the Vikings used as a major route to invade East Anglia between 865 and the start of the Norman Conquest. The Wash was given the name of Metaris Aestuarium, meaning the reaping/mowing/cutting off estuary during the first century by Claudius Ptolemy, a Roman astrologer and mathematician. The Romans built large embankments that protected the land and prevented flooding, but they had all but disappeared by the end of the fifth century. In later years Dutch engineers began a large scale land reclamation and drainage project, this has continued on and off over the years. The mid 1970's saw another drainage project when vast areas of the marsh were enclosed and drained and used for farming. The Wash is a Special Protection Area and is the home to over fifteen species of bird such as the Oyster Catcher who feed on the shell fish who too make their home here.
The Wash not only has a varied natural history it can boast of one interesting historical event.
John was not a popular king, previous to his unfortunate accident, King John had lost much of England's lands in France, been excommunicated and forced to sign the Magna Carta.
The Story of King John and how he lost his treasure in the Lincolnshire flat lands continues on my website Meandering Through Time at