The Welland & Deepings Internal Drainage Board was formed in 1973 by the amalgamation of four adjoining Boards: Deeping Fen Spalding & Pinchbeck, Maxey, North Welland and Baston Langtoft & the Deepings. The Board is an autonomous public body under the direct control of its Board members.
The Board is one of some 120 which are established in low lying areas of England and Wales such as the Fens, Somerset Levels, Kent Marshes and parts of Yorkshire. The functions and powers of Boards are defined by the Land Drainage Act 1991 and the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.
The Board’s area covers approximately 35,000 hectares and extends from just north of Peterborough to just south of Boston. Within their area the Board manage 14 pumping stations, 3 tidal sluices, 70 water level control structures and over 660km of open watercourses and surface water sewers.
Drainage and protecting the area from tidal inundation has played an important role in South Holland since Roman times. Records indicate that both the Anglo Saxons and later the Monasteries constructed embankments to keep water out.
The first Commissioners for Sewers were appointed by Henry III in 1253 following which the Courts of Sewers were established to ensure flood protection and safeguard the drainage network.
In the 1600’s the Courts gave Adventurers permission to undertake extensive drainage improvements, often with the help of Dutch expertise. The main drainage network we see today is largely based on the extensive systems put in place by those early pioneers.
The Boards we know today evolved from these Courts of Sewers with the Deeping Fen Board being constituted in 1939.
In 1988 the Board created the Pinchbeck Engine Land Drainage Museum in the old 1833 steam engine pumping station at Pinchbeck Marsh. The museum houses a display of drainage tools and other similar artefacts along with display boards telling the history of land drainage from Roman times to the present day. The museum is open from May to August, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10.00 am to 3 pm,. Admission is free and attendants on site are pleased to give guided tours and demonstrate how the old steam engine pump would have worked.
Many of the early minute books accounts and documents dating back to 1669 are deposited in the Lincolnshire Archives. The Board do however have some records which may be of interest to South Holland residents examples of which are given below.
These documents can be viewed by clicking on the paragraph header highlighted and then clicking on the document or photographs. Further clicking will enlarge the item. Note: This archive will grow in the coming months so if you don’t see what you are looking for keep coming back.
ALL Archive Records
Acts of Parliament – click here to read
For more information
Welland & Deepings Internal Drainage Board
Tel 01775 725861