At the end of Splash Lane, on the bank of the River Nene, is a shallow bathing area still used today by wild swimmers. Before houses had piped water, locals would use this area as a bathing point. It was a popular bathing spot in Edwardian times when a bathing hut was thought to have been located here.
Wild swimmers in 2021. Photo: Judi Alston.
Photograph: Mark Smith local fisherman helped make the backwater nationally recognised for its barbel. Contributed by Martin Chillcot.
Hear local historians Andrew Nash and Nigel Blanchford discuss the significance of the bathing area at different points in history from the Iron age to current day.
Just up stream from the bathing area local residents and GIs enjoyed the river. This lady on the right is Gladys Stone. Photo contributed by Elaine Wakerley.
Children with friends and 'flatties', 1931.
Esther, Gladys and Arthur Stone with evacuees 1941. Photo courtesy of Elaine Wakerley.
Gladys Stone and the Wilson Family. Photo courtesy of Elaine Wakerley.
A flight above the River Nene showing the path of the river through the landscape and the bathing area.
Swipe with your finger to look around the countryside at this location.
Along the riverbank you can find water reeds and bulrushes. They provide great habitat for many native species of birds as well as providing shelter for an array of other wildlife. Plants along the riverbank also act as a filter helping to reduce water pollution.
Can you spot a fish swimming in the river?
During the Bronze Age, over 2000 years ago, the area along the River and out towards the fens would have been awash with mud. People would have probably lived in wooden houses raised on stilts but how could you get around when you're surrounded by mud? Rather than trudging through the sludge, local people would travel by boat and use the river to get around, as well as using the river water to wash the mud off!