John Rennie and the drainage of the Witham Fens, Lincolnshire, UK
- Author: Barry M. J. Barton 1
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- Source: Proceedings of the ICE - Engineering History and Heritage, Volume 164, Issue 3, 01 August 2011 , pages 175 –187
The major British fen and lowland drainage schemes implemented by John Rennie and his contemporaries in the latter half of the eighteenth century and the early years of the nineteenth century were, of course, major engineering works in their own right. It should not, however, be overlooked that these schemes, in bringing into arable production large areas of hitherto unproductive but potentially prime agricultural land, played a vital and timely role in feeding a burgeoning urban population in the manufacturing areas of northern England and were, in their own way, as important as coal in fuelling the industrial revolution.