Economy of Ely

As an island surrounded by marshes and meres, the fishing of eels was important as both a food and an income for the abbot and his nearby tenants. For example, to the abbot of Ely in 1086, Stuntenei was worth 24,000 eels, Litelport 17,000 eels and even the small village of Liteltetford was worth 3,250 eels. Prior to the extensive and largely successful drainage of the fens during the seventeenth century, Ely was a trade centre for goods made out of willow, reeds and rushes