We have recently completed a cabinet containing fossils from the Chatteris
area, showing the origins of our landscape in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
We are currently creating a run of cabinets which will hold a display of local items from our collection to show the development of the town through the following historical eras.
Stone Age – 450,000 BC to 2,300 BC
The end of the Ice Age saw the evolution of the marshy landscape and hunter gatherers began to inhabit the area.
‘The Fens’ were to prove excellent for hunting and fishing.
Throughout Britain, the latter part of the Stone Age saw the start of farming and the use of tools made from stone and deer antler.
Bronze Age – 2,300 BC to 700 BC
By the beginning of the Bronze Age, livestock was being farmed throughout the Fens.
Metal was being produced and used for tools and ornaments for the first time in Britain.
Iron Age – 700 BC to 43 AD
There were Iron Age settlements at Langwood Ridge and at Stonea, close to our modern day town.
Iron became widely made and used in Britain, although bronze was still very much in use.
Roman – 43 AD to 410 AD
When the Romans came they settled close to the local Iron Age villages.
They began the process of draining the Fens and used the region for farming and the production of salt.
Chatteris was part of the area inhabited by the Iceni people of whom Boudicca is the most well known.
Anglo-Saxon – 410 AD to 1066
In 679 AD Huna retired to Honey Hill. Come to the Museum to find out about Huna and the Abbey.
This period is often referred to as ‘The Dark Ages’ but gradually more is being learnt about this time.
Medieval (Middle Ages) – 1066 to 1485
Chatteris features in the Domesday Book under the spelling ‘Cetriz’.
Men of the Fens, led by Hereward the Wake, were the last to give in to Norman rule.
Tudor – 1485 to 1603
The Abbey was dissolved in 1538 by order of Henry VIII.
Exploration of the world really took off.
The Stuarts – 1603 to 1714
Dutchman Cornelius Vermuyden was employed improve the draining of the Fens.
Regional ‘son’ Oliver Cromwell became the Lord Protector of England during the ‘Commonwealth’ era.
Georgian – 1714 to 1837
Chatteris began to grow and prosper. ‘Carrot City’ was born.
Large quantities of Fish, Fowl and Vegetables were shipped to London from the Fens.
Victorian – 1837 to 1901
Chatteris was a thriving, self-supporting market town.
This was the great age of invention.