Whittlesea Mere, once found in the Great Fen area, was the largest lake in
England south of the Lake District.
It was a place for sailing regattas in the
summer and ice skating races in the winter. People travelled all the way from
London to boat on the Mere, and skated all the way from Cambridge and Ely.
Previous attempts to drain the Mere with windpumps had failed and it was the
last remaining piece of wild fenland.
William Wells and other landowners saw the potential for drainage and farming
on the soils. The most powerful steam pump of the time, Appold's Pump, was
transported from the Great Exhibition in London. It was set up on the eastern
bank of the Mere and pumped so successfully that the Mere had disappeared
completely by 1852. Much of the fen wildlife which survived there became
extinct, including the British species of the large copper butterfly.
Extract taken from http://www.greatfen.org.uk/about/history/fens
Worth a read, ..& a visit (after all it's all around us so not exactly hard to get to).
Can you see where Ramsey is on the map below, there is some "olde English" spelling, so you may recognise names of places but not the spelling of them as we use now!