GALLERY: Outwell author describes King Canute’s journey through the Fens in latest book

AN author from Outwell has described King Canute’s journey through Fenland in his latest book.

King Canute, or Cnut, ruled Denmark, England and Norway in the 11th Century but it is the ruler’s travels through Fenland that grace the pages of historian Bill Smith’s latest work, titled ‘Outwell Pictorial’.

The book describes how power-obsessed Canute, famous for commanding the tide to halt at his feet, sailed up the Well Stream to “hear the angels sing” at Ely Cathedral.

The book was released at a special launch event at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Outwell on Saturday. Hundreds of pictures were displayed as Mr Smith showed off his research.

The author said: “Canute entered the Well Stream at Wisbech – it was the principal river of Wisbech before the Nene was directed there in the 15th century.

“He travelled through Elm and what today is called Emneth, and then through Outwell and Upwell to join the Medieval Nene at Shrewness Point - which is now the Workhouse Lane area of Upwell – and so on to Ely via Littleport.”

Since publishing his first book in 2002, Mr Smith has retired from his career at Nestle Purina. He now combines teaching at Grantham College with carrying out pre-build surveys and reports on old sites being considered for redevelopment.

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His second book, priced at �8.99, has 137 illustrations including scenes of long-gone shops, businesses, village events and well-known characters.

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