Fen Ditton was originally called 'Dicturna', which means 'Dykes End'. The Dyke referred to is Fleame Dyke built (like Devil's Dyke) by the Icene to defend against invasion from the south. These earth works were built across the chalk valley between the impassable marshes (fens) in the west and the Thetford forest in the east. There are two Dittons, Fen Ditton and Wood Ditton.
The Fleame Dyke gave its name to High Ditch Road (High Dyke Road - dyke and ditch are the same at root) and you can see the remains of the dyke as higher ground to the south of High Ditch Road. The development called Shepherd's Close is built right on the dyke.
Another interesting bit of history is that the land from Edmundsbury across to Dicturna belonged to Edmund's sister who bequeathed the land to the Diocese of Ely. The allotments off Horningsea road still belong to the diocese so it would appear this land has been in continuous posession of the diocese for a thousand years.
(text courtesy of David Sands, Fen Ditton)
Fen Ditton village runs across the B1047 Horningsea Road at the North-Eastern edge of Cambridge.
© Ian Harvey 2000-2007. Please see legal notices