Benwick is a small rural village in the heart of Fenland, Cambridgeshire. Located in the middle of three of the Fenland Market towns, it is the only village which can truly claim to be built on black fen soil. The population of Benwick is around 900.
Traditionally, Benwick is a farming village, surrounded on all sides by farmland, growing sugarbeat, corn and sometimes other crops. In the centre of the village, is Boons, an agricultural engineers, which Benwick is well known for, partly due to the spare parts which he has around his building.
Many of Benwick’s old properties have been lost over the years, due to the shrinking peat soil. The Old West river ran behind where is now the High Street, and once it dried the rodden began to shrink. The oldest building left in the village is the Methodist Chapel, built in 1833
Benwick has very few amenities and the village shop closed in 2007. However, we have a village pub, The Five Alls, the Primary School, Children’s Centre and Village Hall.
The village school was built in 1873, and has around 100 pupils. It has it’s own charity, the Friends of Benwick School which fundraise to fund extra-curricular activities.
Next to the school, is the Children’s centre, funded by Sure Start, it is where the Benwick Butterflies Preschool are located. On the other side of the School, is the Village Hall, which was built in 1988. It is the meeting place for most of the village groups, and used for entertainment and clubs.
There is currently no church in the village, but there are plans for one to be built on the side of the village hall. The Friends of Benwick Church have been raising money to build a new church since St. Mary’s was closed in the 1980′s.
Benwick has its own bi-monthly magazine, The Benwick Bugle. It was started up in 2006 by Jane Levicki, and is now run by myself. It is delivered to all houses in the village, and available online.
There are a large number of community groups which work for the benefit of the village. Turf Fen Charity exists to provide financial assistance to those in need, and was originally set up in the 1800′s. The Residents Association was formed in 2008 and has undertaken a number of different projects, one of which is the annual Dickensian Market.
Benwick Dickensian Market was first held in November 2008, and has become an annual event. It is due to be held on November 17th this year.