Wisbech then and now

The town of Wisbech has the air of a proud Georgian market town. In the 17th century, this area of fenland was about as inhospitable and unsuitable for farming as you could possibly find in England. Despite the fens' rich soil, Wisbech grew enormously in both size and importance as a fruit and flower growing industry.

By the middle ages, Wisbech was a bustling river port only four miles from the sea, but over time, the coastline has expanded to the point where it now sits 11 miles from the open sea. Even though the port has declined in importance, agriculture and business is thriving in the fens where all of MAHI's hot sauces are made.

South and North Brinks, facing the River Nene, are two of the most delightful Georgian towns in England. Amongst all these period buildings, Peckover House and Garden is the most prominent attraction. It was donated to the National Trust by the Peckover banking family in the 1950s.

The simple exterior of the house is unremarkable, but the interior is full of beautiful panelled rooms decorated with elaborate carvings and period details. There are 2 acres of unusual and exotic plants in the walled gardens.

From Peckover House across the river, you can view the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum, which honours the National Trust's co-founder. Thomas Clarkson was another native of Wisbech and an early campaigner against slavery. Near the bridge, an elaborate statue of Clarkson created by Victorian architect Gilbert Scott stands out.

Elgoods Brewery and Garden is the home of a family brewery that has been making real ale here for over 200 years. Regular tours and tastings of beer are held at the brewery.

Wisbech and Fenland Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country and houses many collections related to natural and cultural history.

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