Ely was built around its cathedral, the first abbey founded by theAnglo-Saxons on an island in the Fens. Ely was a centre of resistance against the Norman invaders including the legendary Hereward the Wake, but when Ely was retaken by the Normans they built the magnificent cathedral that dominates the landscape today. The monastery was one of the richest in the country and brought prosperity to the region, and the city was also the centre of the traditional Fenland economy. The area went into decline following the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the drainage of the Fens. Ely has grown again in recent times, and today the city happily combines its historic fabric with the life of a vibrant, growing city.
A-Z of Ely reveals the stories behind the Fenland city of Ely, its streets, buildings and people and how its residents and visitors have shaped the city today, This fascinating A-Z tour of Ely's history is fully illustrated and will appeal to all those with an interest in this distinctive city in Cambridgeshire.
Ely-born Michael Rouse specialises in local history books, especially photographic collections, of which he has put together a great number including Ely in Old Postcards and A View in Cambridgeshire. He edited the official guide to the city of Ely for some 20 years, and has written numerous freelance articles for magazines. After some years teaching at Soham Village College, he now does storytelling at Ely Museum and takes photographs for Viva Youth Theatre in Soham. He also acts as a local councillor for Ely.