Borough Fen

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Borough Fen
Pill Box, Speechley's Drove, Borough Fen, Peterborough - - 132939.jpg
Borough Fen Pill Box
Location: 52°39’25"N, 0°13’1"W
Population: 126  (2011[1])
Post town: Peterborough
Postcode: PE6
Local Government
Council: Peterborough

Borough Fen is a civil parish in the Soke of Peterborough in Northamptonshire. It lies is to the north of Peterborough city centre, just below the county border with Lincolnshire. Much of the land in the 19th century was owned by Sir Culling Eardley, 3rd Baronet, a strong supporter of the local boys' school.[2] The land has predominantly been used for agriculture and cattle farming which is still a significant employment sector today.

Described by John Marius Wilson in 1870 as "BOROUGH-FEN (Ville), an extra-parochial tract in Peterborough district, Northampton; 5 miles N by E of Peterborough. Acres, 3,130. Real property, £6,086. Pop., 202. Houses, 31."[3]

Local area

There are 54 dwellings in Borough Fen. All but one of the dwellings are whole houses, bungalows, or semi-detached houses. This a similar pattern across the region in nearby Peterborough and the East of England as a whole where the percentage of whole houses is very high. Borough Fen is a very green and open parish with large farmhouses. There are no terraced urban-style roads and no apartment buildings.[4] There is a lack of retail shops in the parish, although they can be found in the neighbouring towns of Crowland and Newborough.



Before 1811 the nearby parish of Newborough was a tract called Borough Fen Common. Once Newborough became a parish some of the population was returned to Borough Fen explaining the rise in population between 1801 and 1811.[5] Population increased substantially between 1921 and 1931 a key era in the further industrialisation. This population rise coincides with the creation of The London Brick Company in Peterborough who by 1935 were producing 60% of the local industry output employing workers in the surrounding areas.[6]

Energy Farm Plan

In March 2013 a plan was put forward for a collection of wind and solar farms in Newborough Farm (part of Borough Fen), along with nearby America Farm and Morris Fen. They were expected to cost around £200 million covering 900 acres of Peterborough farmland, the council claimed they would bring in £100 million over 25 years. However, in 2014 due to a change in government energy tariffs and a lack of support for the plan led to the project being scrapped.[7]

Historic sites

Borough Fen has two notable historic features. The older of the two features is the duck decoy located on the west side of the parish, supposedly one of the oldest in England. The decoy was in operation intermittently between 1776 and 1959, catching primarily mallard, and can be seen via tours from the local farm.[8] There is also World War II pillbox fortification, built in 1940 as a component of the British anti-invasion preparations.


  1. "Borough Fen: Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Office For National Statistics. 
  2. "Post Office Directory of Berks, Northants... , 1854". Kelly & Co.. 1854. 
  3. Wilson, John Marius (1870). Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales. Edinburgh. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  4. "Borough Fen (Parish): Dwellings, Household Spaces and Accommodation Type, 2011". Office for National Statistics. 
  5. "Population tables I, Vol. I. England and Wales. Divisions I-VII, 1851". HMOS. 
  6. Richard, Hillier (1981). Clay that Burns a History of the Fletton Brick Industry. 
  7. Edwards, Mark. "City council may go ahead with solar farm plan". Peterborough Telegraph. 
  8. Cook, W.A.. "The numbers of ducks caught in Borough Fen Decoy, 1776–1959". Wildfowl. 
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