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Coordinates: 52°30′58″N 0°14′06″E / 52.516°N 0.235°E / 52.516; 0.235
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St Mary's Church, Welney
Welney is located in Norfolk
Location within Norfolk
Area20.73 km2 (8.00 sq mi)
Population542 (2011)
• Density26/km2 (67/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTL526940
Civil parish
  • Welney
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townWISBECH
Postcode districtPE14
Dialling code01354
AmbulanceEast of England
List of places
52°30′58″N 0°14′06″E / 52.516°N 0.235°E / 52.516; 0.235

Welney is a village and civil parish in the Fens of England and the county of Norfolk. The village is about 10 miles (16 km) south-west of the town of Downham Market, 20 miles (30 km) south of the town of King's Lynn and 45 miles (70 km) west of the city of Norwich. The county boundary with Cambridgeshire is adjacent, with the city of Cambridge 25 miles (40 km) to the south.[1]

Welney is immediately to the west of the Old Bedford River, River Delph and New Bedford River, which are parallel channels and are here crossed by the A1101 road.

Welney is on the Ouse Washes, an area of wildlife conservation. WWT Welney, near the village, is a nature reserve in the care of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Nearby there are also the RSPB Ouse Washes, a reserve managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The parish covers an area of 8 square miles (20 km2) and had a population of 528 in 217 households at the 2001 census, which had increased to 542 by the 2011 Census.[citation needed] For the purposes of local government the parish falls within the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.[citation needed]



In the 14th century Welney was called Wellenhe, meaning ‘a river called Welle’ (the old name of the Old Croft River). In the 18th century Woad was grown in the parish.[2] In 1820 a road was built from Welney across The Wash to the New Bedford River (also known as the Hundred Foot Drain), where a ferry-boat was established opposite the public house of Thomas Golding, formerly Washington's; this provided a direct route into Lincolnshire through Wisbech from Bury St Edmunds, Ely and Cambridge.[3][4] In the second half of the 19th century Welney became significant for its skaters. On 21 February 1855 Turkey Smart of Welney became champion skater of the Fens. James Smart of Welney became champion on 21 January 1891. William Loveday of Welney came 2nd to James Aveling of March in the amateur championship.[5]

St Mary's Church in Welney is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Further reading

  • Smith, William P (2021). The Ancient Town of Wella. Carillson Publications.


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey (1999). OS Explorer Map 228 - March & Ely. ISBN 0-319-21860-0.
  2. ^ "Auction". Stamford Mercury. 7 October 1791. p. 4.
  3. ^ "A direct communication". Bell's Weekly Messenger. 29 May 1820. p. 8.
  4. ^ "Road across the Wash". Cambridge Chronicle and Journal. 9 June 1820. p. 1.
  5. ^ F.J.Gardiner (1898). History of Wisbech and Neighbourhood. Gardiner & Co.[page needed]