19th July 2019

The National Lottery Origins Project

The National Lottery Origins Project

‘The Scottish Soldiers, the Ouse Washes; the Origins of Landscape Change in the Fen’ known simply as ‘Origins’. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery, the project commencing this autumn focuses on exploring a ‘missing’ history of events, 1650-53; researching the construction of the second parallel drain by Scottish prisoners-of-war, following their capture after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. These events not only transformed the landscape and surrounding environment they changed traditional Fenland occupations and lifestyles into the future.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project will enable three local schools to explore the history of this period, with workshops being delivered on film work and script writing.

Working closely with heritage professionals from Durham University linking the Origins project with their ‘Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project’, participants will gain a deeper insight into this previously under-researched part of their history. Increasing their awareness into the relationship between people, landscape and their natural environment.

Cambridge Filmworks have teamed up with The Word Graden to produce an evocative film for the project charting ones woman’s journey from Scotland to the Fens in search of her lost husband.

Coventina’s imagined journey from Dunure to Denver provides insights into differing cultural aspects of life which are rarely seen in one project story. It encompasses people and places, time and travel, and here, focused observations on the transformation of the East Anglia fen landscape, envisaging the construction of the second drain, during hostile and turbulent times: the aftermath of the Battle of Dunbar, 3rd September, 1650.

Young, idealistic Tam survives the Battle of Dunbar, only to be buried in an ‘open hole’ close to Durham Cathedral. His remains were discovered in late November 2016 with his kinsmen.  As seen in the 3D facial depiction of skeleton 22, his face was ‘made young again’ during the skeletal science work by Durham Archaeologists. His remains were re-interred in May 2018, to be brought back to a fictional life in Dunure to Denver, in June 2019: a new history born from tragedy in the story arc from Doon Bay to Doon Hill.

In Coventina’s quest to find Tam, the young Covenanter set on fighting against Cromwell in the family war, this story reveals the universal truth that human kind never learn from history but that hope remains, the very driving force of Coventina’s search.

To find out more please got to:



Cambridge Filmworks

Cambridge Video Production


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