Cambridge is a historic and beautiful university city in Cambridgeshire, on the River Cam and 49 miles from London. It is one of the two ancient university cities of England, its rival being Oxford. The proper pronunciation is "Came-bridge".
There were Roman settlements here, and it was a busy market town in the Anglo-Saxon period, while evidence of the Norman occupation can be seen in the impressively high Castle Mound.
The university began in the 13th century, when many scholars fled from the riots and violence that was rife in Oxford at the time.
Among the oldest colleges are Peterhouse (founded 1281); Clare (1326); Pembroke (1347); Trinity Hall (1350); and Corpus Christi (1352).
The wonderful King`s College Chapel dominates the city architecturally, and is sometimes mistaken for a cathedral. This amazing building is famous for its Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at Christmas.
In addition to this, there a number of very interesting churches.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is widely known as the Round Church. It is one of only four such churches in England, and is based architecturally on the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
St. Mary the Great, beside Market Hill, has been the university church since the 14th century.
St. Bene`t`s is the oldest building in the city. It has an Anglo-Saxon tower.
The Bridge of Sighs, at St. John`s College, was built in 1831 and modelled on the bridge at Venice.
The Mathematical Bridge, at Queens` College, was built in 1749 on geometric principles and need no bolts or nails. Unfortunately, a Victorian scientist took it apart and was unable to put it back together without bolts.
Peterhouse has windows designed by Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.
Pembroke College has a chapel designed by Christopher Wren.
King`s College was founded in 1441 by the pious but ill-starred Henry VI, for the further education of boys from his Eton College. The college`s most prized possession is Rubens` "Adoration of the Magi".
Magdalene College features the Pepys Library.
Hobson`s Conduit was built in the early 17th century by the innkeeper Thomas Hobson to carry water from Nine Wells. The expression Hobson`s Choice derives from his willingness to hire out a horse - but only the horse which he specified.
One of the most famous and appealing aspects of Cambridge is The Backs, where the lawns of several colleges run down to the river, with its opportunites for gentle boating.
The Sedgwick Museum of Geolology is in Downing Street.
The University Botanic Gardens are world famous. They were established in 1761 and cover 40 acres.
Former pupils at various of the colleges have included Charles Babbage; Stanley Baldwin; Francis Bacon; Rupert Brooke; Samuel Butler; Lord Byron; Prince Charles; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Thomas Cranmer; Oliver Cromwell; Charles Darwin; Erasmus Darwin; John Dryden; Edward VII; Desiderius Erasmus; Edward Fitzgerald; James Frazer; George VI; Orlando Gibbons; Thomas Gray; John Harvard; Robert Herrick; A. E. Housman; Judge Jeffreys; Charles Kingsley; Hugh Latimer; Thomas Babington Macaulay; Isaac Newton; Christopher Marlowe; Andrew Marvell; John Milton; Vladimir Nabokov; Pandit Nehru; Lord Palmerston; Samuel Pepys; William Pitt the Younger; Arthur Quiller-Couch; Nicholas Ridley; Bertrand Russell; Ernest Rutherford; Edmund Spenser; Laurence Sterne; Jeremy Taylor; Alfred Lord Tennyson; William Makepeace Thackeray; G. M. Trevelyan; Ralph Vaughan Williams; Horace Walpole; Robert Walpole; William Wilberforce; and William Wordsworth.
Famous persons born in Cambridge include Richard Attenborough, actor and film director; Christopher Cockerell, hovercraft inventor; Jacquetta Hawkes, anthropologist; Jack Hobbs, England cricketer; John Maynard Keynes, economist; F. R. Leavis, critic; Olivia Newton-John, singer; Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury; and Ronald Searle, cartoonist.
The Cambridge Footlights are a theatre group founded in 1883. Its revue "Beyond the Fringe", introduced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1959, launced the glittering careers of Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore. Later members have included John Cleese, David Frost, Clive James, Trevor Nunn, Bill Oddie and Griff Rhys-Jones.
Watson and Crisk`s pioneering work on DNA was accomplished at Cambridge.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Cambridge for groups.
Events in Cambridge
Places in Cambridge
All Saints Church, Cambridge Station, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Castle Mound, Christ`s College, Churchill College, Clare College, Corpus Christi College, Downing College, Emmanuel College, Gonville and Caius, Great St. Mary`s Church, Holy Sepulchre Church, Jesus College, Kettle`s Yard, King`s College, King`s College Chapel, Magdalen College, Newnham College, Pembroke College, Peterhouse, Queens` College, Robinson College, Sidney Sussex College, St. Catharine`s College, St. John`s College, Trinity College, Trinity Hall