How jobs have changed in town

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Michael Chisholm debunks the popular myth of Crowland’s early monks living in “an isolated wilderness” as he has found that, quite apart from the waterway they built giving access to the outside world, they also had a fairground. The monks got a charter for a fairground in the 12th century and they also had a charter for a market and Michael believes he has located the sites for these.

He has also worked out what the people of Crowland have done through history, such as in the 14th century when sheep owned by the abbey grazed the land at Postland. He says: “The wool from other manors came to Crowland to be sorted and sold and livestock was moved from outlying areas to Crowland. Crowland was the hub of Lincolnshire’s pastoral economy.”

By the late 1400s that had been replaced by swan keeping and by 1586 people made their living by wildfowling and fishing.