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March

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Cambridgeshire  /  March
March is a Fenland market town and civil parish in the Isle of Ely area of Cambridgeshire, England. It was the county town of the Isle of Ely which was a separate administrative county from 1889 to 1965. It is now the administrative centre of Fenland District Council.The town grew by becoming an important railway centre.Like many Fenland towns, March was once an island surrounded by marshes. It occupied the second largest "island" in the Great Level. As the land drained, the town grew and prospered as a trading and religious centre. It was also a minor port before, in more recent times, a market town and an administrative and railway centre.March is situated on the banks of the old course of the navigable River Nene, and today mainly used by pleasure boats.HistoryModern March lies on the course of the Fen Causeway, a Roman road, and there is evidence of Roman settlements in the area.Before the draining of the fens, March was effectively an island in the marshy fens. It was formed from two settlements, Merche and Mercheford, separated by a canal. The town probably owes its origin to the ford on the old course of the River Nene, where the road between Ely and Wisbech, the two chief towns of the Isle of Ely, crossed the river. At one time shipping on the River Nene provided the basis of the town's trade, but this declined with the coming of the railways in the 19th century.
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