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Beyond Cambridge - Market Towns - March

Market Towns

Travelling out of Cambridge you can enjoy the traditional atmosphere and friendly slow pace of historic market towns, with a lifestyle much cherished in today's fast paced world.

The town of March, originally a small island community, developed as a Tudor port and later as a railway town in the 19th century. With the Old River Nene flowing through its centre, it has been described as 'The Thameside town in miniature'. The fascinating history of the town is told in the March Museum.

Similarly, the towns of Ramsey, Chatteris, Littleport and Whittlesey grew from small island communities. Whittlesey is characterised by the 17th century Butter Cross in the centre of the market place. The town is an interesting maze of streets with well preserved architecture spanning several centuries. Littleport near Ely is famous as the scene of the Littleport Riots of the 19th century. Chatteris is a typical Fenland market town popular with anglers and bird watchers attracted to the surrounding Fens. The main street in Ramsey is the Great Whyte, which extends right down to The Mere. The Mere was used to supply the town with eels, fish and fowl and a means of transport. The town of Ramsey was built up around the gate of Ramsey Abbey. When the Abbey was seized by Henry VIII it was purchased by the Lord and Lady De Ramsey who made it their home. Soham is a lively market town, which has retained its character thanks to its numerous independent businesses. The town is the centre of a prosperous and vibrant farming community.

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