1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Axholme

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AXHOLME, an island in the north-west part of Lincolnshire, England, lying between the rivers Trent, Idle and Don, and isolated by drainage channels connected with these rivers. It consists mainly of a plateau of slight elevation, rarely exceeding 100 ft., and comprises the parishes of Althorpe, Belton, Epworth, Haxey, Luddington, Owston and Crowle; the total area being about 47,000 acres. At a very early period it would appear to have been covered with forest; but this having been in great measure destroyed, it became in great part a swamp. In 1627 King Charles I., who was lord of the island, entered into a contract with Cornelius Vermuyden, a Dutchman, for reclaiming the meres and marshes, and rendering them fit for tillage. This undertaking led to the introduction of a large number of Flemish workmen, who settled in the district, and, in spite of the violent measures adopted by the English peasantry to expel them, retained their ground in sufficient numbers to affect the physical appearance and the accent of the inhabitants to this day. The principal towns in the isle are Crowle (pop. 2769) and Epworth. The Axholme joint light railway runs north and south through the isle, connecting Goole with Haxey junction; and the Great Northern, Great Eastern and Great Central lines also afford communications. The land is extremely fertile. The name, properly Axeyholm (cf. Haxey), is hybrid, Ax being the Celtic uisg, water; ey the Anglo-Saxon for island; and holm the Norse word with the same signification.