Crowland historian Rex (77) publishes fourth book on the fens

Rex Sly with his new book, Exploring The Fen-Edge.
Rex Sly with his new book, Exploring The Fen-Edge.
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An acclaimed author on the fens and local historian, Rex Sly, returns to his favourite subject in his self-published fourth book.

Rex (77), from Postland, near Crowland, follows the route of the Roman Car Dyke from Peterborough to Lincoln, visiting villages, landmarks and 38 churches along the way.

‘Exploring the Fen-Edge Along The Roman Car Dyke’ includes fascinating snippets on places such as Bourne, Peakirk, The Deepings, Aslackby, Pointon and Sempringham, the site of the Gilbertine religious order founded by St Gilbert of Sempringham, and many more as his journey unfolds.

Along the route Rex searches for remains of the Car Dyke, some parts no more than fen dykes and others little changed in 1500 years.

Rex, from a long line of Lincolnshire farmers, says he refers to the Car Dyke as Roman simply because the fen people refer to the 80 mile water channel as Roman.

He says: “It is claimed by some historians that it was used for the transport of goods for the Roman armies, especially as the fens were major producers of salt from the sea.”

Rex says there’s also speculation it formed a drainage system and even a boundary to separate ancient tribes.

“The reader will have to ponder over its origin, and speculate on its purpose,” he says.

• Exploring the Fen-Edge costs £14.99 and is available from Bookmark, Spalding, and retailers including Waterstones and Amazon, or buy direct from

Previously ...

From farmer to acclaimed writer on Fens’ history

Farmer Rex feels passionate about Fens

It’s a small world as sculptures paint a portrait of Spalding