The city of Cambridge is located on the River Cam, in the county of Cambridgeshire, approximately 55 miles north of London, and 62 miles south-west of Norwich.
The city has a population of around 99,900. Administratively the City of Cambridge covers an area of approximately 41 sq kms.
Primarily renowned for its world class university, which has produced over sixty Nobel prize winners down the years, it is an ancient and busy market town which has developed greatly as a modern retail, commercial and leisure centre. Its history, charm, and outstanding architecture make it a major tourist destination.
The earliest clear evidence of occupation is a collection of hunting weapons from the Late Bronze Age, starting around 1000 BC. There is further archaeological evidence that a Belgic tribe settled on Castle Hill in the 1st century BC.The town's history dates from Roman times when they built a camp on a small hill beside the River Cam, but by the 5th-century it had become a Saxon market town. By the 7th century, however, visitors from nearby Ely reported that Cambridge had declined severely. Cambridge is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Grantebrycge. This is the earliest known reference to a bridge at Cambridge. 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. During this period the centre of the town shifted from Castle Hill on the left bank of the river to the area now known as the Quayside on the right bank. After the end of the Viking period the Saxons enjoyed a brief return to power, building St. Benet's church in 1025. It still stands in Bene't Street. In 1209, students escaping from violence in Oxford fled to Cambridge and formed a University there. The oldest college which still exists, Peterhouse, was founded in 1284. Despite having a University, Cambridge was not granted its city charter until 1951. Cambridge does not have a cathedral, which was traditionally a pre-requisite for city status.
Historically the town's economy was based upon its port.The river was navigable all the way to Kings Lynn and there were good trading links with the continent.The city is also surrounded by good quality farmland, and agriculture has always been of importance. Drawing on its links with the University, the Cambridge area today is known as Silicon Fen, due to the growth of high tech businesses and technology incubators that have sprung up in the series of science parks and other developments in and around the city.
The name Cambridge derives from its originally location where several roads met at a crossing point over the River Cam. Cambridge is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Grantebrycge. By Norman times the name of the town had mutated to Grentabrige or Cantebrigge, while the river that flowed through it was called the Granta. Over time the name of the town changed to Cambridge, while the river Cam was still known as the Granta - indeed the river is still often known as the Granta to this day. It was only later that the river became known as the Cam, by analogy with the name Cambridge. The University use a pseudo-Latin adjective cantabrigiensis (often contracted to "Cantab") to mean "of Cambridge", but this is obviously a back-formation from the English name.
Visit Britain's video podcast tourist guide to Cambridge - find out more details at www.visitbritain.com....
University town of Cambridge (United Kingdom) in the summer. created by Alexander Steinforth music: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong: They Can't....