Wisbech is a Cambridgeshire market town in the Fenland district, and an inland port along the River Nene. During the Medieval era, Wisbech was just 4 miles from the coast, making it a busy port for trading, though nowadays, it’s over 12 miles away!
During the Iron Age, the area now known as Wisbech was in the Iceni tribal territory, with coins from this era found locally. Later, in the 11th century, William the Conqueror built Wisbech Castle to protect and fortify the town. In 2017, Market Place also bought the ‘United Nations Bureau of Significant Inspiration’ to the castle!
Wisbech is filled with fine Georgian buildings, including Peckover House, which was bought by the Quaker Peckover banking family in the 1790s, and is now owned and operated by the National Trust. The National Trust was, in part, founded by another Wisbech resident, Octavia Hill who was born in Wisbech in 1838 into a prominent merchant family. The home in which she was born, the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum is now also owned by the National Trust. Hill’s suggestions for open green spaces, planning reforms, and a focus on the value of time, place and beauty are still valued principles today.
In 1657 John Thurloe, as lord of the manor, was granted a fortnightly market at Wisbech by letter patent. In the 1840's Wisbech has the second largest corn market in the country!
Market Place has worked with local people to create a range of fun and inspiring arts events to Wisbech during the last few years. Highlights have included, alongside the United Nations Bureau of Significant Inspiration ‘The Garden of Curious A’MUSE’ments’ at the Castle, we’ve shared Musical Memories at part of our ‘Talkin ‘Bout My Generation’ project which captured teenage musical memories from the 1960s, 70s and 80s in the Fens and have hosted several boot camps to help local creative practitioners in their work