Terrington Marsh

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Rape field on Terrington Marsh
Fen Farm in the marsh

Terrington Marsh is a drained coastal marshland on the southern shore of the Wash, mainly in Norfolk, but the boundary of Norfolk with Lincolnshire has been drawn through it to the open water.

Once a treacherous, disease-ridden marshland, Terrington Marsh is now rich farmland, dotted with little farms, and scored with many utterly straight farm tracks joining them in a network.

At the southern edge of the marsh is Terrington St Clement, a little Norfolk village serving as the metropolis of the march. Just west of it is a hamlet named Walpole Cross Keys, the last village in Norfolk, and to the east is Clenchwarton. The eastern edge of the marsh is marked by the tidal channel of the Great Ouse, across with is King's Lynn. In the west the marsh wanders across into Holland and ends at the Nene Outfall Cut.

The marsh is largely below sea level, and defended from inundation by a long sea wall.

The part of the marsh known as Wingland Marsh was once the tidal inlet known as Cross Keys Wash. The border between Norfolk and Lincolnshire runs along the centreline of this erstwhile inlet, with a curious salient of Norfolk towards Sutton Bridge. On opposite banks of the wash were the Cross Keys Inn in Sutton Bridge (Lincolnshire) and Cross Keys House in Walpole Cross Keys (Norfolk). They were connected by the Wash Way, a dangerous ford crossing the sands at low water, forming part of Norfolk. The great civil engineer Thomas Telford built an embanked road of earth nearly two miles long which carried the road across the Wash before its eventual complete drainage. This explains the protrusion of Norfolk territory into Lincolnshire, alongside the present A17 road, in nowadays otherwise unremarkable terrain.