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Flag Fen through time

The story of Flag Fen began in 1971 when excavations ahead of the construction of Peterborough New Town revealed an almost intact Bronze Age landscape, which ran along the edge of the drained fen. It was in 1982 when archaeologists surveying the depths of the Flag Fen Basin came across timbers of what was to prove an internationally important site. Excavations in the basin continue to find prehistoric settlements, farms, barrows, cemeteries and religious sites along with managed river causeways across the developing fen marsh.

Every year we discover something new about the lives of our prehistoric ancestors around the Flag Fen basin- which is now recognised as one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe.

Things to see & do

Causeway remains

Still buried beneath our feet, the Bronze Age causeway still makes its way through Flag Fen. A section of the excavated causeway remains has been left on open display, where they are kept wet using a spray system. They can be found in the preservation hall.

Museum

The museum floats above a man-made Mere on the west edge of the park. One of the most significant exhibits in the museum is one of the earliest known wooden wheels in England. Other parts of the collection, such as a makeup grinder and beautifully crafted shears, reveal what life would have been like in the Bronze Age at Flag Fen.

Bronze Age Roundhouse

The roundhouse is based on the layout of one excavated at Fen gate. It features an internal ring of roof support posts that support a heavy turf roof and walls of wattle and daub. You are invited to go inside the round house and experience what home would have felt like for our ancestors.

The Big Dig

An opportunity for children to feel what it’s like to dig through time from the Roman villa down to the earlier Bronze Age roundhouse. Please check before your visit for opening times.

Hudson Barn - Must Farm discoveries

Flag Fen occupies part of the Flag Fen Basin. The world-famous Must Farm discoveries were made less than one kilometre away.

Bronze Age boats, that were found in the early stage of excavations, are currently kept here on display and are undergoing expert conservation. Flag Fen is one of the only conservation centres in England that have facilities and technical skills to ensure these boats are preserved for future generations.

Soay Sheep

Flag Fen has its very own flock of Soay sheep, a breed of sheep that would have been familiar to our ancestors in the Bronze Age. Soay sheep have remained untouched by remaining isolated on remote islands- the Flag Fen flock came from St Kilda.

The Mere

The large mere is a shallow artificial lake that was created in order to maintain the waterlogged conditions across part of the wooden platform and causeway. The mere provides an important habitat for many species of flora and fauna here, including red- listed species such as the Water Vole and Grass Snake.

On the Wildside

Flag Fen is home to many insects, birds, amphibians and mammals.

The majestic heron can often be seen posing next to the banks of the mere and drainage ditches that surround the park. Lesser seen birds include the Cuckoo and Fieldfare in Spring. The mere and moat around the visitor centre provide the perfect home for rare water voles and many different types of dragonflies.

Other animals that you are likely to see on your visit are rabbits, stoats, toads and squirrels. You may also catch a glimpse of other lesser-seen animals such as badgers, foxes, deer and grass snakes if you are lucky.

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