Bedford Level, an extensive tract of flat land in the east of England, embracing nearly all the marshy district called the Fens. It extends inland around the Wash into the six counties of Northampton, Huntingdon, Cambridge, Lincoln, Norfolk, and Suffolk, and has an area of about 750,000 acres. Its inland boundary forms a horseshoe of high lands, and reaches the towns or villages of Brandon, Milton (near Cambridge), Earith, Peterborough, and Bolingbroke. Of the three divisions, the north level lies between the rivers Welland and Nene; the middle, between the Nene and the Old Bedford River; and the south extends to Stoke, Feltwell, and Milden-hall. Intersected by many artificial channels, as well as by the lower parts of the rivers Nene, Cam, Ouse (Great and Little), Welland, Glen, Lark, and Stoke, it receives the waters of the whole or parts of nine counties. A great forest at the coming of the Romans, and by them rendered a fertile inhabited region, this district, owing to incursions of the sea, became a morass in the 13th century, but has been drained since 1634, mainly by the enterprise of Francis, Earl of Bedford, the principal landholder - whence the name. See Heathcote's Reminiscences of Fen and Mere (1876).