Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 2, 1891.djvu/153

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Folk-Lore


Vol. II.]
[No. II.
JUNE, 1891.


LEGENDS OF THE CARS.




I FANCY that many people still picture Lincolnshire to themselves as a region of bogs and swamps, of fever-haunted marshes, and ague-infested lowlands. I know that I, personally, expected something of the sort, when I first entered the county, and in speaking about it to strangers, their first remark is apt to be, that we must have suffered much in those "dreadful fens". Now this is an entirely mistaken idea of the shire.

Even in the South, the true fen district, the drainage system has been so widely carried out, that I am told the great marshes have been almost entirely reclaimed, and many hundreds of useless acres are now turned into fertile farm-lands. If this be true of the South, it is much more so of the Northern Division, which, to begin with, has in general a higher average level, and is more uneven in its surface, being also traversed by two long low hill ranges from N.W. to S.E. In the parts of Lindsey, there are no fens, their place being taken by the Cars, which were once wide swamps, bordering the course of a small stream or river. These have been drained, and I do not think that any now exist in their old barren condition, so great is the change that has taken place during the last half century. Broad dykes now intersect the fertile fields, and run beside the roads, on their way to join a central canal which