Historical Information

The old river channels through the Fens were probably used for transport during the Middle Ages, but it was the Dutch engineer Vermuyden who developed most of the system during the 1600s. The Middle Level water channels were primarily built for drainage, and that remains their primary purpose today; but they were soon found useful for the transport of agricultural produce, and as such use has faded away, they have become a hidden gem for those seeking solitude on the inland waterways.

There is a useful history of the Navigations at Wikipedia.