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Ely’s Eels

By Linda Tancs

Despite being a noted cathedral town (boasting one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in the country), Ely is one of the smallest jurisdictions in England. It derives its name from the Isle of Eels, its designation when Ely was an island surrounded by marshland and eels were in great abundance. The importance of the eel to the local economy is celebrated to this day with the annual Eel Festival. Taking place tomorrow through May 1, the event is highlighted by a parade on Saturday beginning at Cross Green adjacent to the cathedral and incorporating a part of the Eel Trail, a circular route that takes you past all the key parts of this historic city. Of course you’ll want an eel-related souvenir, which is available at the Tourist Information Centre located in the former home of Oliver Cromwell.

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