Upwell

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Upwell is a village now exclusively in Norfolk. It is bisected by the 'old course' of the River Nene.

In the historical times that we are talking about, however, the River Nene was the border at this point between Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. This border has, in living memory, been moved one mile to the west, leaving the village entirely in Norfolk.

However in the times we are talking about, this meant that there were two sides to the village, the Norfolk side (commonly referred to then as simply 'Norfolk'), and the Cambridgeshire side, which was called the 'Isle side'. The Isle in question was the Isle of Ely, to which the whole village looked Episcopally. That is tithes and so on were paid to the Bishop of Ely.

Thus when we talk about Upwell, we will generally refer to the Upwell (Norfolk) or Upwell (Isle).

Although it was physically easy, using teh bridge (now gone) opposite the church, we have no idea how easy it was to cross the river from one county to another. However George Hunt (1806) did it. He was initially a boatman, but as he got older he moved 'up the bank' to become a publican for a short time on the Norfolk side of the river and then on the Isle side. After his death in 1872, his wife, Anne, took over as publican.

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