10. CAMBRIDGE INDEX
In no particular order - images & notes are just from chance on wandering around Cambridge in March 2013 as part of exploring Eastern England, East Anglia including Cambridgeshire
12. Little St Mary's Church (St Mary-the-Less), Cambridge re-edited
Cambridge YHA Youth Hostel, cheap place to stay and the cyclist displays a very common form of transport in busy bustling streets and colleges of Cambridge
A POTTED HISTORY OF CAMBRIDGE
The city of Cambridge is a major English university town and the administrative centre
of the county of Cambridgeshire and it lies in East Anglia about
50 miles (80 km) north of London. Cambridge is most recognised as the home of
the University of Cambridge founded in 1209 and is consistently ranked
one of the top five universities in the world. Apart from its numerous
University Colleges, the university
includes the renowned historic Cavendish Laboratory (most famous for its
early 20th century research in atomic physics), King's College Chapel
(fantastic building and wonderful choir), and
the fine building of the Cambridge University Library. Modern day Cambridge is a
major centre of the
high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on the US Silicon Valley
in California and the fenlands around the city. In 2010, the city's population was 125,717 (including
students! It is twinned
with two other European cities, Heidelberg in Germany and Szeged in Hungary.
Cambridge might be most famous for its historic university but its history goes back to prehistoric and Roman times.
Prehistoric have existed around the Cambridge area well before the Roman Empire. Some of earliest evidence of occupation comes from the remains of a 3,500-year-old farmstead discovered at the site of Fitzwilliam College. There is archaeological evidence of an Iron Age Belgic tribe settling on Castle Hill in the 1st century BC. There is evidence of widespread Roman settlement in Cambridge including numerous farmsteads and a village in the Cambridge district of Newnham. The River Cam (previously known as River Granta) was navigable as far as Cambridge from King's Lynn via the River Ouse and the port (now known as Quayside - but only punts to be seen now!) and Roman town where situated at the cross-roads of four Roman roads - Akeman Street, the road from Colchester to Leicester, the road from Great Chesterford and Braughing and a connecting road to Ermine Street.
Archaeological finds have dated settlements from the bronze age and following the Roman invasion of Britain it became an important military settlement known as Duroliponte. It declined in size and importance after Roman's departure in the 5th century only the arrival of the Vikings saw its rebirth as a regional trading centre.
The original Roman settlement was north of the river on Castle Hill but there is evidence for pre-Roman activity in the area, but the Romans built the first town which was a convenient crossing point of the river Cam, on the edge of the extensive marshy fen land so characteristic of East Anglia. The Latin name for Cambridge is Cantabrigia, but this was not the Roman name for the town, the Roman settlement-fort? was called Duroliponte.
Later there was an Anglo Saxon settlement on Castle Hill, since it could be defended, and another close to St Benedict's Church, or St Bene't's as it's known in Cambridge. The tower of St Bene't's is Saxon making it the oldest building in Cambridge which at the time was called Grantabrycge. It seems it is no coincidence that, since at one time Cambridge came under Danish rule, that St Clement's Church is near Quayside, a dedication common in Danish settlements. The first bridge over the River Cam was probably constructed in the late 8th century or 9th century and so remaining an important crossing point right through from Roman times to the medieval period and beyond.
The Normans needed to build a castle on Castle Hill in 1068 especially since Hereward the Wake was defying Norman rule in Ely, but all that is left of the castle is Castle Mound from which a good view of the surrounding area is obtained.
The Round Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of only four round Norman church in England (another is the Temple Church in London). which were built by the Knights Templar and is the oldest building in the City of Cambridge.
In Norman times the town was known as Grentebrige or Cantebrigge, which evolved into the name Cambridge as we know it today. Apparently, the river was still called the Granta but it seems because of the name Cambridge, the name presumes that it must be the place where there is a bridge over the Cam, so the river should then be called the Cam instead of the Granta. Upstream to the south, where it flows through 'Old Grantchester', the River is still called the Granta.
Barnwell Priory was founded in 1092, but only the church, St Andrews the Less, and a building known as the Cellarer's Checker remains. Many other religious houses were founded in Cambridge, including St Rhadegund's Nunnery, which later became Jesus College.
King John granted a charter to the growing medieval town of Cambridge in 1201 and the charter of 1207 is still exists in the possession of the city council.
In 1209 Groups of scholars gathered at the once ancient Roman and Viking trading post of Cambridge for the purpose of study, the earliest record of the University. Cambridge University as such, first begins in 1209 when some Oxford students moved to Cambridge. The first college, Peterhouse, was founded in 1284. After this various new colleges were founded, others from amalgamations of previous colleges. Unusually, Corpus Christi was founded by the Guilds of Cambridge. As the university grew (and like at Oxford) there was much tension between the townsfolk and the academic community.
Several other colleges were founded in medieval and early Renaissance times eg from the 13th to the early 16th centuries ... 1284 Peterhouse, the first college at Cambridge, is founded by the Bishop of Ely. In 1347 Mary, Countess of Pembroke, founds Pembroke College. In 1446 Henry VI, founder of Eton and of King's College, Cambridge, laid the first stone of King's College Chapel. In 1503 the later to be executed Thomas Cranmer, then aged 14, entered the newly-endowed Jesus College. Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, founds St John's College in 1511. In 1516 Erasmus, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, works on his translation of the Greek New Testament and on textbooks which were to become the foundation of university academia. and he is considered the most important scholar of the Northern Renaissance in Europe. By 1546 Henry VIII had founded Trinity College, Cambridge.
In Tudor times, Henry VIII forcibly removed control of the university colleges from the religious bodies which had previously controlled them and was partly responsible for much building development including many of the splendid gatehouses you see as entrances to the university colleges, and the magnificent and outstanding King's College Chapel.
Oliver Cromwell was educated at Sidney Sussex College, and was elected Member of Parliament for Cambridge in 1640 after being the MP for Huntingdon. After the 17th century Civil War he became Lord Protector of England, and beheaded King Charles I., but after Cromwell's death Charles II became king, and Cromwell's head was displayed as the head of a traitor, it is now buried in Sidney Sussex college!
By 1614, Cambridge was in dire need of a new water supply, so Thomas Hobson was commissioned to build a causeway bringing water from springs at Nine Wells near Shelford outside Cambridge right into the city centre and these channels still run along Trumpington Street - it wasn't just the Victorians who were great water engineers.
Surprisingly, no colleges founded from 1594 to 1800, a time of decline, both in the university and the town. However, several new colleges were founded in late Victorian times, which included the first women's colleges (Girton College?, it should be noted that women could only be awarded degrees from 1948!). In the early 20th century the university was developed as a centre of scientific research, based eg the Cavendish Labs and later we have the emergence of 'Science Parks' fuelled by the innovations of Cambridge graduates and entrepreneurs.
By 1845 the railway had reached Cambridge and the town developed to the south and east.
Cambridge was made a city in 1951.
As well as the wonderful medieval and Georgian architecture there are some fine modern buildings in Cambridge, such as the Judges Institute.
Famous scientists who studied or taught at Cambridge include
William Harvey - heart and circulation of blood
Isaac Newton - mathematician and physicist - important experiments with light and gravity theory
Charles Darwin - biologist who wrote on the 'Origin of Species'
Ernest Rutherford - atomic structure investigations and split the atom in the early 20th century
Clerk Maxwell - mathematician and physicist - electromagnetism theory
J. J. Thomson - physicist - pioneer in the investigation of atomic structure
Rayleigh - multi-talented scientist
Paul Dirac - mathematician and physicist - quantum mechanics - anti-matter
Crick and Watson - discovered the structure of DNA in 1953
Professor Stephen Hawking - mathematician, cosmologist, wrote the best seller Brief History of Time
There are numerous famous and well known writers who have studied at Cambridge University eg
AS Byatt, Margaret Drabble, CP Snow, Siegfried Sassoon, Kenneth Clarke, CS Lewis, Germaine Greer, Stephen Fry, Malcolm Muggeridge, JB Priestley
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