Cambridge ( ( )) is a university town and the administrative centre
of the county of Cambridgeshire,
England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London.
is also at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen - a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the
is best known as the home of the University of Cambridge, one of the world's premier universities.
university includes the renowned Cavendish Laboratory, King's College Chapel, and the Cambridge University Library. The Cambridge skyline is dominated by the
last two buildings, along with the chimney of Addenbrooke's
Hospital in the far south of the city and St John's
College Chapel tower in the north.
to the 2001 United
Kingdom census, the City's population was 108,863
(including 22,153 students), and the population of the urban area
(which includes parts of South Cambridgeshire district) is estimated to be 130,000.
Cambridge in 1575
Cambridge is surrounded by many smaller towns and villages.
Settlements have existed around this area
since before the Roman Empire The
earliest clear evidence of occupation were the remains of a
3,500-year-old farmstead discovered at the site of Fitzwilliam
College. There is further archaeological evidence
through the Iron Age, a Belgic tribe having settled on Castle
Hill in the 1st century BC
The first major development of the area began with the Roman invasion of Britain
. Castle Hill made Cambridge a useful place
for a military outpost from which to defend the River Cam. It was also the crossing point for the
Via Devana which linked Colchester in Essex with the
garrisons at Lincoln and the north.
This Roman settlement has
been identified as Duroliponte
The settlement remained a regional centre during the 350 years
after the Roman occupation, until about AD 400
Roman roads and walled enclosures can still be seen in the
Duroliponte means bridge over the duro
which appears to derive from the celtic word for water.
Saxon and Viking age
After the Romans had left, Saxons
over the land on and around Castle Hill. Their grave goods have
been found in the area. During Anglo-Saxon times Cambridge
benefited from good trade links across the otherwise hard-to-travel
fenlands. By the 7th century
visitors from nearby Ely reported that Cambridge had declined
severely Cambridge is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
The arrival of the Vikings
in Cambridge was
recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 875. Viking rule, the
Danelaw, had been imposed by 878 The Vikings' vigorous
trading habits caused Cambridge to grow rapidly.
period the centre of the town shifted from Castle Hill on the
of the river to the area now
known as the Quayside on the right bank
end of the Viking period the Saxons enjoyed a brief return to
power, building St Bene't's Church in 1025, which still stands in Bene't Street.
two years after his conquest of England, William of Normandy built a castle on Castle Hill.
Like the rest of the newly
conquered kingdom, Cambridge fell under the control of the King and
his deputies. The distinctive Round
Church dates from this period.
By Norman times the
name of the town had mutated to Grentabrige or Cantebrigge
(Grantbridge), while the river that flowed through it was called
Over time the name of the town changed to Cambridge, while the
river Cam was still known as the Granta — indeed the Upper River
(the stretch between the Millpond in Cambridge and Grantchester) is
correctly known as the Granta to this day. The Welsh language name of the town remains
Caergrawnt (roughly analogous to Grantchester, which is also the name of a village near
It was only later that the river became known as
the Cam, by analogy with the name Cambridge. The University, formed
1209, uses a Latin
(often contracted to "Cantab") to mean "of
Cambridge", but this is obviously a back-formation
from the English name.
Beginnings of the university
students escaping from hostile townspeople in Oxford fled to
Cambridge and formed a university there The oldest college that still exists, Peterhouse, was founded in 1284 One of the most impressive
buildings in Cambridge, King's College Chapel, was begun in 1446 by King Henry VI.
The project was
completed in 1515 during the reign of King Henry VIII
originated with a printing licence issued in 1534.
, the first project
to bring clean drinking water to the town centre, was built in 1610
(by the Hobson of Hobson's choice
Parts of it survive today. Addenbrooke's Hospital was founded in 1766.
The railway and station
were built in 1845. According to legend, the University dictated
their location: well away from the centre of town, so that the
possibility of quick access to London would not distract students
from their work. However, there is no written record of this
It was said that "Cambridge is a fountain of knowledge where
students come to drink".
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s the size of the city was greatly
increased by several large council
planned to hold London overspill. The biggest impact
has been on the area north of the river, which are now the estates
of Arbury, East
Chesterton and King's Hedges, and there are many smaller estates to the south of
In 1962 Cambridge's first shopping arcade, Bradwell's Court, opened
on Drummer Street, though this was demolished in 2002. Other
shopping arcades followed at Lion Yard, which housed a relocated
Central Library for the city, and the Grafton Centre which replaced
Victorian housing stock which had fallen into disrepair in the Kite
area of the city. Both of these projects met strong opposition at
gained its second University in 1992 when Anglia Polytechnic became
Renamed Anglia Ruskin University in 2005,
the institution has its origins in the Cambridge School of Art
opened in 1858 by John Ruskin
University also has a presence in the city, with an office
operating on Hills Road.
Despite having a university, Cambridge was not granted its city charter
does not have a cathedral, traditionally
a prerequisite for city status, instead falling within the Church
of England Diocese of
is now one of East Anglia's major settlements, along with Norwich, Ipswich and Peterborough.
the buildings in the centre are colleges affiliated to the University of
Cambridge, including King's College and Magdalene College. Colleges such as Trinity
College and St John's College own significant land both in Cambridge and outside:
Trinity is the landlord for the Cambridge Science Park, and also the port of Felixstowe; St John's is the landlord of St John's Innovation Centre next
door to the Science Park, and many other buildings in the city
The market in the centre of Cambridge,
with Great St Mary's Church in the background.
Cambridge City Council plans to renew the area around the Corn
Exchange concert hall, and plans for a permanent ice-skating rink
are being considered after
the success of a temporary one that has been on Parker's Piece
every year for the past few years. New housing and developments
have continued through the twenty-first century, with estates such
as the CB1 and Accordia
schemes near the
station, and developments such as Clayfarm and Trumpington Meadows
planned for the south of the city.
and its surrounds are sometimes referred to as Silicon Fen, an allusion to Silicon Valley, because of the density of high-tech businesses and
technology incubators that have
developed on science parks around the
Many of these parks and buildings are owned or leased
by university colleges, and the companies often have been spun out
of the university. Such companies include Abcam
, Acorn Computers
. Microsoft chose to locate its Microsoft Research UK offices in a
University of Cambridge technology park, separate from the main
Microsoft UK campus in Reading.
Cambridge was also the home of Pye
, who made radios and televisions and also defence
equipment. In later years Pye evolved into several other companies
radio equipment manufacturer
. Another major
business is Marshall Aerospace
located on the eastern edge of the city. The Cambridge Network
keeps businesses in
touch with each other.
is about north-by-east of London.
is located in an area of level and relatively low-lying terrain
just south of the
Fens, which varies between and above sea level. The River Cam flows through the city north from the village of
The name 'Cambridge' is derived from the
Like most cities, modern-day Cambridge has many suburbs and areas
of high-density housing. The city centre of Cambridge is mostly
commercial, historic buildings, and large green areas such as Jesus
Piece and Midsummer Common.
Many of the roads in the centre are
The demography in Cambridge changes considerably in and out of
University term times, so can be hard to measure.
In the 2001 Census
during University term, 89.44% of Cambridge residents identified
themselves as white
, compared with a
national average of 92.12%. Within the University, 84% of
undergraduates and 80% of post-graduates identify as white
(including overseas students).
Cambridge has a much higher than average proportion of people in
the highest paid professional, managerial or administrative jobs
(32.6% vs. 23.5%) and a much lower than average proportion of
manual workers (27.6% vs. 40.2%). In addition, a much higher than
average proportion of people have a high level qualification (e.g.
degree, Higher National
, qualified doctor), (41.2% vs. 19.9%).
Historical population numbers
population of Cambridge
Census: Regional District 1801-1901Civil Parish
Government and politics
Cambridge is a non-metropolitan district
by a city council
of Cambridge is one of five districts within the county of
Cambridgeshire, and is bordered on all sides by the mainly rural
Indeed, it is the only district in
England to be entirely surrounded by another. The city council's
headquarters are in the Guildhall, a large building in the market
square. City councillors elect a mayor
annually. Cambridge was granted a Royal Charter by King John in
1207, which permitted the appointment of a Mayor, although the
first recorded Mayor, Harvey FitzEustace, served in 1213. Cambridge
is also served by Cambridgeshire County
electoral purposes the city is divided into 14 wards: Abbey,
Hinton, Coleridge, East Chesterton, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, and West
The political composition of the city council is currently:
The Liberal Democrats have controlled the city council since
parliamentary constituency of Cambridge covers most of the city. David Howarth
) was elected
Member of Parliament
the 2005 general
, winning the seat from the sitting MP, Labour
. One area of town, the Queen Edith's ward — lies in
theSouth Cambridgeshire constituency, whose MP is Andrew Lansley (Conservative), first elected in
The city had previously elected a Labour MP from 1992 to 2005 and
prior to this, usually elected a Conservative after the Second World War
. However, the
Conservatives came third in the last General Election and have seen
their share of the vote fall over the past 20 years.
University used to have a seat in the House of Commons,
Sir Isaac Newton being one of the most
was abolished under 1948 legislation,
and ceased at the dissolution of Parliament for the 1950 general election
along with the other university
Cambridge is a city with many transport connections as well as
being one of the UK's eleven "Cycling Cities", a status given in
2008. There are regular trains to King's Cross and Liverpool Street
in London as well as to Peterborough, Royston, King's Lynn,
Norwich, Ipswich and Stansted Airport. Cambridge also has
its own airport, Marshall Airport Cambridge UK.
The future Cambridgeshire Guided Busway
will run through Cambridge city centre.
Cambridge's two universities, the collegiate
Cambridge and the local campus of Anglia
Ruskin University, serve around 30,000 students, by some
estimates. Cambridge University estimated its 2007-8
student population at 17,662, and Anglia Ruskin reports 24,000
students across its two campuses (one of which is outside
Cambridge, in Chelmsford) for the same period. State provision in
the further education sector
includes Hills Road Sixth Form College, Long Road Sixth Form College, and Cambridge Regional College.
Both state and independent
serve Cambridge pupils from nursery to secondary school
age. State schools are
administered by Cambridgeshire County Council, which maintains 251
schools in total, 35 of them in Cambridge city. Chesterton
Community College, the Parkside Federation (comprising Parkside
Community College and Coleridge Community College, Manor Community College, Netherhall School, and the Christian denominational St. Bede's
School provide comprehensive secondary
Many other pupils from the Cambridge area attend
, an educational
institution unique to Cambridgeshire, which serve as secondary
schools during the day and adult education centres outside of
school hours. Private schools in the city include The Perse
School, The Perse School for Girls, St. Mary's
School and The Leys
Cambridge played a unique role in the invention of modern football
: the game's first set of rules
were drawn up by members of the University in 1848. The Cambridge Rules were first played on
Piece and had a "defining influence on the 1863 Football Association
is home to Cambridge United
F.C., who played in the Football League at the
Stadium from 1970 to 2005, when they were relegated to
relegation became inevitable the club was placed in administration
debts, but it emerged from administration in time for the 2005–06 season
club's biggest success came in the early 1990s, with two successive
promotions, two successive FA Cup
quarter-final appearances, a run to the Football League Cup
reaching the brink of promotion to the new Premier League
city's other football club Cambridge
City F.C. play in the Southern Football
League Premier Division at the City
Ground in Chesterton. Histon, just
north of Cambridge, is home to Conference National side Histon F.C..
Cambridge's most successful sports team over recent years is
club Cambridge R.U.F.C.
. After three
successive promotions they managed to survive their debut season in
National Division Two
club's home ground is at West Renault Park on Granchester Road
in the southwest corner of the city.
team play in the National
Conference League East Section during the summer months, often
drawing on rugby union players keen to continue playing rugby
throughout the year.
The River Cam running through the city centre is used for boating.
The University has its own rowing
University Boat Club
, and most of the individual colleges have
on the river. The main focus of
university rowing life are the two bumps
held in the Lent and Summer terms. Cambridgeshire Rowing
was formed in 1868 and organises competitive rowing
on the river outside of the University. Shallower parts of the Cam
are used for recreational punting
type of boating in which the craft is propelled by pushing against
the river bed with a pole.
As well as being the home of the Cambridge Rules
in football, Parker's Piece
was used for first-class cricket
matches from 1817 to 1864. The University of Cambridge's Cricket
ground, Fenner's, is located in the city and is one of the home
grounds for minor counties team
Cambridge is also home to two Real
courts out of just 42 in the world at Cambridge
University Real Tennis Club. British American Football
play at Coldham's Common. Cambridge has two cycling clubs
Team Cambridge and Cambridge Cycling Club.
Motorcycle speedway racing took place at the
Greyhound Stadium in Newmarket Road in 1939 and the contemporary local press
carried meeting reports and photographs of racing.
It is not
known if this venue operated in other years. The team raced as
Newmarket as the meetings were organised by the Newmarket
is also known for its university sporting events against Oxford, especially the rugby union Varsity Match and the Boat Race.
followed by people across the globe, many of whom have no
connection to the institutions themselves.
Cambridge's main traditional theatre is the
Theatre, a venue with 666 seats in the town
The theatre often has touring shows, as well as
those by local companies. The largest venue in the city to regular
hold theatrical performances is the Cambridge
Corn Exchange - capacity 1800 standing or 1200 seated.
Housed within the city's 19th century
former corn exchange
venue was used for a variety of additional functions throughout the
including tea parties
, sports matches and a music venue with temporary stage.
The City Council renovated the building in the 1980s, turning it
into a full-time arts venue, hosting theatre, dance and music
The newest theatre venue in Cambridge is the 220-seat J2, also
known as The Shed, part of the Junction complex in Cambridge
Leisure Park. The venue was opened in 2004 and hosts live music,
comedy and night clubs as well as traditional and contemporary
theatre and dance.
Theatre is managed by the University of Cambridge, and
typically has 3 shows a week during term time. The Mumford Theatre is part of Anglia
Ruskin University, and hosts shows by both student and non student
There are also a number of venues within the
Cambridge in literature and film
- Tom Sharpe is also
a Cambridge-based author who has written fictional accounts of
teaching at Cambridge Technical College (now Anglia
Ruskin University) and of Cambridge college life. His
fictional "Porterhouse College" appears in many of his novels.
- Susanna Gregory wrote a series
of novels set in 14th century Cambridge
and featuring a teacher of medicine and sleuth named Matthew
- Douglas Adams lived for many years
in Cambridge, and parts of his novel Dirk Gently's Holistic
Detective Agency are set in the city. The novel was
partially reworked from his unbroadcast Doctor Who serial Shada, which also included scenes in Cambridge.
The television serial Shada was filmed in Cambridge, but was never
finished due to strike action.
- Sylvia Plath, who studied at the
University of Cambridge, wrote a number of short stories with a
Cambridge setting which are published in the collection Johnny
Panic and the Bible of Dreams.
- Rebecca Stott's Ghostwalk
(2007) is set in the Cambridge of today and of Sir Isaac Newton's
- Robert Harris's
"Enigma" was partly set in Cambridge, when the leading character,
Thomas Jericho, was sent to King's College to recover from a
nervous breakdown. Much of the story describes the centre and west
of Cambridge in much detail. The story itself was set in the middle
of world war two. The rest of the story was set in Bletchley
- The BBC building in Cambridge is called Betjeman House, after
the late poet laureate John
- The Night Climbers
of Cambridge is a book written under the pseudonym
"Whipplesnaith" about nocturnal climbing on the Colleges and town
buildings of Cambridge in the 1930s.
Most notable of the bands that formed in Cambridge are Pink Floyd
, the band's former songwriter
guitarist and vocalist Syd Barrett
born and lived in the city. He and other founder member Roger Waters went to school together at
Cambridgeshire High School for
Boys and David Gilmour was
also a Cambridge resident and attended the nearby Perse School.
Other bands who formed in Cambridge include
, Katrina and the Waves
, The Soft Boys
and The Broken Family Band. Solo artists Boo Hewerdine and Robyn Hitchcock are from Cambridge, as are Drum and bass artists (and brothers) Nu:Tone and Logistics. Singer Olivia Newton-John and Matthew Bellamy, lead singer of rock band Muse, were born in the city. Singer-songwriter Nick Drake and Manchester music mogul Tony Wilson, the founder of Factory Records, were both educated at the University of Cambridge.
Festivals and events
Cambridge Film Festival
- Midsummer Fair is one of the oldest fairs in
the UK and at one point was possibly the largest medieval fair in
Europe. Today it exists primarily as an annual funfair with the vestige of a market attached.
- Cambridge Folk Festival
is one of the largest festivals of folk
music in the UK
- Strawberry Fair is a free music and children's fair, with a series
of market stalls. It is held the first Saturday in June on
- Cambridge Beer Festival started in 1974, is the second largest outside
London and takes place on Jesus Green for one week in May every
year. 90,000 pints of beer and a tonne of cheese were served
- The Cambridge Film
Festival is considered to be one of the nation's best. Formerly
held annually in July, it was moved in 2008 to September to avoid a
clash with the rescheduled Edinburgh Film Festival.
is served by Cambridge
University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with several smaller
medical centres around the city and a general hospital at Addenbrookes.
Addenbrookes is a learning and teaching hospital
, one of the largest in
the United Kingdom, and functions as a centre for medical research
. The East of England
Ambulance Service covers the city and has an ambulance station on
Hills Road. The smaller Brookfields Hospital is located on Mill
Road. Cambridgeshire Constabulary
provide the city's policing; the major police station is at
Parkside, adjacent to the city's fire station, which is operated by Cambridgeshire Fire and
services to the city,, while Anglian
Cambridge is part of the East of
region, for which the distribution network operator
is EDF Energy
. The city has no power
stations, though a five-metre wind turbine, part of a Cambridge
Regional College development, can be seen in King's Hedges.
The city's Central Library is located in the Grand Arcade and
reopened on 29 September 2009, after having been closed for
refurbishment for 33 months, more than twice as long as was
forecast when the library closed for redevelopment in January
Cambridge has a number of churches
, some of which form
a significant part of the city's architectural landscape.
Cambridge-based family and youth organisation, Romsey Mill, had its centre re-dedicated in 2007 by the
Archbishop of York, and is quoted
as an example of best practice in a study into social inclusion by
the East of England
Regional Assembly. Cambridge is in the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Cambridge has two synagogues
: an Orthodox
synagogue and Jewish student
centre on Thompson's Lane, operated by the Cambridge University Jewish
, and a Reform
which meets at a local
school. The Abu Bakr Jamia
on Mawson Road serves the city's community of
around 4,000 Muslims
until a planned new
mosque is built. A Buddhist
opened in the former Barnwell Theatre on Newmarket Road in 1998.
local Hindus began fundraising to build a
shrine at the Bharat Bhavan Indian cultural centre off Mill
Road, where Hindu and Hare
Krishna groups conduct worship.
Cambridge also has a
number of secular groups, such as the Cambridge Humanists.
Great St Mary's Church has the status of being the "University
Church". Many of the University colleges contain
chapels that hold services according to the rites and ceremonies of
the Church of England, while the
chapel of St Edmund's College is Roman
The city also has a number of theological colleges
training clergy for ordination
number of denominations, with affiliations to both the University
of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University. The University of
Cambridge is also home to the evangelical
Christian organisation Cambridge Intercollegiate Christian Union
Cambridge is twinned
with two cities.
Like Cambridge, both have universities and are also similar in
Panoramic photo gallery
- Office For National Statistics 2001 Census (Ethnic group,
Cambridge local authority)
- University of Cambridge Fact Sheet: Ethnicity,
retrieved 17 January 2008
- ONS 2001 Census (Approximated Social Grade - Workplace
Population, Cambridge local authority)
- ONS 2001 Census (Qualifications, Cambridge local
- Cambridge City Council: Council buildings
information: Guildhall information
- Election maps - Ordnance Survey
- List of first-class matches on Parker's
University Real Tennis Club
- Cambridge CC
- Cambridge Arts Theatre Website
- EERA social inclusion policy, ch. 3
- Mosque site hunt is over, Cambridge Evening
News 6 May 2008
- "Shrine Appeal by Hindu Group", Cambridge Evening
News, 19 October 2005 retrieved 9 August 2008