Fen Cottage & Workshop

Wicken Fen - View of Fen Cottage

Duck your head as you step inside historic Fen Cottage to discover how people lived and worked on the fen in days gone by.

Fen Cottage

The cottage is one of the last surviving buildings of a once thriving hamlet whose residents lived and worked on the fen.

Built in various stages from the late 18th - early 20th Century, it was constructed from local materials including peat, wood, sedge, reed and clay, much of which would have been harvested or gathered from the Fen. Originally it was two separate cottages which were knocked into one in 1925.

Records dating back to 1841 show that the thatched cottage was home to Charles and Jane Butcher, with four generations of the family eventually living in the cottage. The last residents were Alice and her disabled son Reggie Butcher, who lived in the cottage until 1972, when Alice died, aged 93.

The National Trust acquired the cottage in 1974.  Restoration began 1988 , using local materials and techniques that would have been used in its original construction.

Fenman's Workshop

Peer inside our recreation of a typical 1930's Fenman's workshop.

Inside you'll discover how fenlanders earned a living from the fen harvesting sedge and reed, collecting alder buckthorn (used for making gunpowder) peat digging, wildfowling, eel catching and willow working.

The Fen-keepers cottage at Wicken Fen

Take a virtual tour of the cottage at Wicken Fen

This 360 tour lets you into the ramshackle cottage nestled within our Nature Reserve.