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Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the
county town In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, Ireland, a county town is the most important town or city in a county. It is usually the location of administrative or judicial functions within a county and the place where the county's members of ...
in
Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire (abbreviated Cambs.) is a Counties of England, county in the East of England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the north-east, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and North ...
,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...
. It is located on the
River Cam The River Cam () is the main river flowing through Cambridge in eastern England. After leaving Cambridge, it flows north and east before joining the River Great Ouse to the south of Ely, Cambridgeshire, Ely, at Pope's Corner. The total distanc ...
approximately north of London. As of the
2021 United Kingdom census The decennial 2021 censuses of England and Wales and of Northern Ireland took place on 21 March 2021, and the census of Scotland took place on 20 March 2022. The censuses were administered by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in England an ...
, the population of Cambridge was 145,700. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of ...
. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951. The city is most famous as the home of the
University of Cambridge The University of Cambridge is a Public university, public collegiate university, collegiate research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III of England, Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the world' ...
, which was founded in 1209 and consistently ranks among the best universities in the world. The buildings of the university include
King's College Chapel King's College Chapel is the chapel of King's College, Cambridge, King's College in the University of Cambridge. It is considered one of the finest examples of late Perpendicular Gothic English architecture and features the world's largest fan ...
,
Cavendish Laboratory The Cavendish Laboratory is the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge, and is part of the School of Physical Sciences. The laboratory was opened in 1874 on the New Museums Site as a laboratory for experimental physics and is named ...
, and the
Cambridge University Library Cambridge University Library is the main research library of the University of Cambridge. It is the largest of the Libraries of the University of Cambridge, over 100 libraries within the university. The Library is a major scholarly resource fo ...
, one of the largest legal deposit libraries in the world. The city's skyline is dominated by several college buildings, along with the spire of the Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church, and the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital.
Anglia Ruskin University Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership, owned by the state or receives significant government spending, public funds through a nation ...
, which evolved from the Cambridge School of Art and the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, also has its main campus in the city. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology
Silicon Fen Silicon Fen (also known as the Cambridge Cluster) is the name given to the region around Cambridge, England, which is home to a large business cluster, cluster of high-tech businesses focusing on software, electronics and biotechnology, s ...
, which contains industries such as
software Software is a set of computer programs and associated software documentation, documentation and data (computing), data. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and which actually performs the work. ...
and
bioscience ''BioScience'' is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal that is published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. It was established in 1964 and was preceded by the ''AIBS Bulletin'' (1951–19 ...
and many start-up companies born out of the university. Over 40 per cent of the workforce have a higher education qualification, more than twice the national average. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, one of the largest biomedical research clusters in the world includes the headquarters of
AstraZeneca AstraZeneca plc () is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with its headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in Cambridge, England. It has a portfolio of products for major d ...
, a hotel, and the relocated Royal Papworth Hospital. The first game of
association football Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 Football player, players who primarily use their feet to propel the Ball (association football), ball around a rectangular field ca ...
took place at
Parker's Piece Parker's Piece is a flat and roughly square green commons, common located near the centre of Cambridge, England, regarded by some as the birthplace of the rules of association football. The two main walking and cycling paths across it run diago ...
. The
Strawberry Fair Strawberry Fair is a local festival of music, entertainments, arts and crafts which has been held in Cambridge, England, since 1974. The fair is held on Midsummer Common on the first Saturday in June. It is completely run and organised by volun ...
music and arts festival and Midsummer Fair are held on Midsummer Common, and the annual Cambridge Beer Festival takes place on
Jesus Green Jesus Green is a park in the north of central Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, north of Jesus College, Cambridge, Jesus College. Jesus Ditch runs along the southern edge Jesus Green. On the northern edge of Jesus Green is the River Cam, wit ...
. The city is adjacent to the M11 and A14 roads. Cambridge station is less than an hour from
London King's Cross railway station King's Cross railway station, also known as London King's Cross, is a passenger railway terminus in the London Borough of Camden, on the edge of Central London. It is in the London station group, one of the List of busiest railway stations in ...
.


History


Prehistory

Settlements have existed around the Cambridge area since
prehistoric times Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the beginning of recorded history with the invention of writing systems. The use of ...
. The earliest clear evidence of occupation is the remains of a year-old farmstead discovered at the site of Fitzwilliam College. Archaeological evidence of occupation through the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age (Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly appl ...
is a settlement on Castle Hill from the 1st century BC, perhaps relating to wider cultural changes occurring in southeastern Britain linked to the arrival of the
Belgae The Belgae () were a large confederation of tribes living in northern Gaul, between the English Channel, the west bank of the Rhine, and the northern bank of the river Seine, from at least the third century BC. They were discussed in depth by Ju ...
.


Roman

The principal
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter ...
site is a small fort (') Duroliponte on Castle Hill, just northwest of the city centre around the location of the earlier British village. The fort was bounded on two sides by the lines formed by the present Mount Pleasant, continuing across Huntingdon Road into Clare Street. The eastern side followed Magrath Avenue, with the southern side running near to Chesterton Lane and Kettle's Yard before turning northwest at Honey Hill. It was constructed around AD 70 and converted to civilian use around 50 years later. Evidence of more widespread Roman settlement has been discovered including numerous farmsteads and a village in the Cambridge district of Newnham. A Roman coffin for Etheldreda was found next to the Roman town, and taken back by river for her burial in Ely. (Bede)


Medieval

Following the
Roman withdrawal from Britain The end of Roman rule in Britain was the transition from Roman Britain to Sub-Roman Britain, post-Roman Britain. Roman rule ended in different parts of Britain at different times, and under different circumstances. In 383, the usurper Magnus ...
around 410, the location may have been abandoned by the
Britons British people or Britons, also known colloquially as Brits, are the citizens of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependencies.: British nationality ...
, although the site is usually identified as ,
Nennius Nennius – or Nemnius or Nemnivus – was a Welsh monk of the 9th century. He has traditionally been attributed with the authorship of the ''Historia Brittonum'', based on the prologue affixed to that work. This attribution is widely considered ...
().
Theodor Mommsen Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen (; 30 November 1817 – 1 November 1903) was a German classics, classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician and archaeologist. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest classicists of the 19 ...
(). ''Historia Brittonum'', VI. Composed after AD 830. Hosted at Latin Wikisource.
as listed among the 28
cities A city is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a minuscule number of dwellings grouped ...
of Britain in the '' History of the Britons'' attributed to
Nennius Nennius – or Nemnius or Nemnivus – was a Welsh monk of the 9th century. He has traditionally been attributed with the authorship of the ''Historia Brittonum'', based on the prologue affixed to that work. This attribution is widely considered ...
.Ford, David Nash.
The 28 Cities of Britain
" at Britannia. 2000.
Evidence exists that the invading Anglo-Saxons had begun occupying the area by the end of the century. Their settlement – also on and around Castle Hill – became known as Grantebrycge. ("
Granta ''Granta'' is a literary magazine and publisher in the United Kingdom whose mission centres on its "belief in the power and urgency of the story, both in fiction and non-fiction, and the story’s supreme ability to describe, illuminate and ma ...
-bridge"). (By
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) is a form of the English language that was spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest of 1066, until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments ...
, the settlement's name had changed to "Cambridge", deriving from the word 'Camboricum', meaning 'Passage' or 'ford' of stream in a town or settlement, and the lower stretches of the
Granta ''Granta'' is a literary magazine and publisher in the United Kingdom whose mission centres on its "belief in the power and urgency of the story, both in fiction and non-fiction, and the story’s supreme ability to describe, illuminate and ma ...
changed their name to match.)
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a Cultural identity, cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages. They traced their origins to settlers who came to Britain from mainland Europe in the 5th century. However, the ethnogenesis of the Anglo- ...
grave goods have been found in the area. During this period, Cambridge benefited from good trade links across the hard-to-travel fenlands. By the 7th century, the town was less significant and described by
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English monk at the monastery of St Peter and its companion monastery of St Paul in the Kingdom o ...
as a "little ruined city" containing the burial site of Æthelthryth (Etheldreda). Cambridge was on the border between the
East East or Orient is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the four main compass directions: north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W respectively. Relat ...
and
Middle Anglia The Middle Angles were an important ethnic or cultural group within the larger kingdom of Mercia la, Merciorum regnum , conventional_long_name=Kingdom of Mercia , common_name=Mercia , status=Kingdom , status_text=Independent kingdom (527– ...
n kingdoms and the settlement slowly expanded on both sides of the river. The arrival of the
Vikings Vikings ; non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people originally from Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden), who from the late 8th to the late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and se ...
was recorded in the ''
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle The ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' is a collection of annals in Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the ...
'' in 875. Viking rule, the
Danelaw The Danelaw (, also known as the Danelagh; ang, Dena lagu; da, Danelagen) was the part of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west a ...
, had been imposed by 878 Their vigorous trading habits caused the town 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 Viking period, the Saxons enjoyed a return to power, building churches such as St Bene't's Church, wharves, merchant houses and a mint, which produced coins with the town's name abbreviated to "Grant". In 1068, two years after the
Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west a ...
of England,
William the Conqueror William I; ang, WillelmI (Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33– 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first House of Normandy, Norman List of English monarchs#House of Norman ...
built a
castle A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, ...
on Castle Hill, the
motte A motte-and-bailey castle is a European fortification with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised area of ground called a motte, accompanied by a walled courtyard, or Bailey (castle), bailey, surrounded by a protective Rampart (fortification ...
of which survives. Like the rest of the newly conquered kingdom, Cambridge fell under the control of the King and his deputies. The first town charter was granted by Henry I between 1120 and 1131. It gave Cambridge monopoly of waterborne traffic and hithe tolls and recognised the
borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geo ...
court. The distinctive
Round Church A round church is a church construction with a completely circular plan. There are many Nordic round churches in Sweden and Denmark (notably the island of Bornholm); round churches were popular in Scandinavia in the 11th and early 12th centuries ...
dates from this period. In 1209, Cambridge University was founded by Oxford students fleeing from hostility. The oldest existing college, Peterhouse, was founded in 1284. In 1349 Cambridge was affected by the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Western Eurasia and North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portio ...
. Few records survive but 16 of 40 scholars at King's Hall died. The town north of the river was severely affected being almost wiped out. Following further depopulation after a second national epidemic in 1361, a letter from the Bishop of Ely suggested that two parishes in Cambridge be merged as there were not enough people to fill even one church. With more than a third of English clergy dying in the Black Death, four new colleges were established at the university over the following years to train new clergymen, namely Gonville Hall, Trinity Hall, Corpus Christi and Clare. In 1382 a revised town charter effects a "diminution of the liberties that the community had enjoyed", due to Cambridge's participation in the
Peasants' Revolt The Peasants' Revolt, also named Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black ...
. The charter transfers supervision of baking and brewing, weights and measures, and forestalling and regrating, from the town to the university.
King's College Chapel King's College Chapel is the chapel of King's College, Cambridge, King's College in the University of Cambridge. It is considered one of the finest examples of late Perpendicular Gothic English architecture and features the world's largest fan ...
, was begun in 1446 by
King Henry VI Henry VI (6 December 1421 – 21 May 1471) was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and English claims to the French throne#Kings of France (1422), disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. The ...
. The chapel was built in phases by a succession of kings of England from 1446 to 1515, its history intertwined with the
Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses (1455–1487), known at the time and for more than a century after as the Civil Wars, were a series of civil wars fought over control of the throne of England, English throne in the mid-to-late fifteenth century. These w ...
, and completed during the reign of
King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his Wives of Henry VIII, six marriages, and for his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) ...
. The building would become synonymous with Cambridge, and currently is used in the logo for the
Cambridge City Council Cambridge City Council is a district council in the county of Cambridgeshire, which governs the City of Cambridge. History Cambridge was granted a Royal charter, Royal Charter by King John in 1207, which permitted the appointment of a mayor. Th ...
.


Early modern

Following repeated outbreaks of pestilence throughout the 16th century, sanitation and fresh water were brought to Cambridge by the construction of Hobson's Conduit in the early 1600s. Water was brought from Nine Wells, at the foot of the Gog Magog Hills to the southeast of Cambridge, into the centre of the town. Cambridge played a significant role in the early part of the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists led by Charles I ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of Kingdom of England, England's governanc ...
as it was the headquarters of the Eastern Counties Association, an organisation administering a regional East Anglian army, which became the mainstay of the Parliamentarian military effort before the formation of the
New Model Army The New Model Army was a standing army formed in 1645 by the Roundhead, Parliamentarians during the First English Civil War, then disbanded after the Stuart Restoration in 1660. It differed from other armies employed in the 1639 to 1653 Wars ...
. In 1643 control of the town was given by Parliament to
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in History of England, English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 ...
, who had been educated at
Sidney Sussex College Sidney Sussex College (referred to informally as "Sidney") is a Colleges of the University of Cambridge, constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. The College was founded in 1596 under the terms of the will of Frances Sidney ...
in Cambridge. The town's castle was fortified and garrisoned with troops and some bridges were destroyed to aid its defence. Although
Royalist A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of gov ...
forces came within of the town in 1644, the defences were never used, and the garrison was stood down the following year.


Early-industrial era

In the 19th century, in common with many other English towns, Cambridge expanded rapidly, due in part to increased life expectancy and improved agricultural production leading to increased trade in town markets. The
Inclosure Acts The Inclosure Acts, which use an archaic spelling of the word now usually spelt "enclosure", cover enclosure of open field system, open fields and common land in England and Wales, creating legal property rights to land previously held in common. ...
of 1801 and 1807 enabled the town to expand over surrounding open fields and in 1912 and again in 1935 its boundaries were extended to include Chesterton, Cherry Hinton, and Trumpington. The railway came to Cambridge in 1845 after initial resistance, with the opening of the
Great Eastern Railway The Great Eastern Railway (GER) was a Railways Act 1921, pre-grouping British railway company, whose Great Eastern Main Line, main line linked Liverpool Street station, London Liverpool Street to Norwich and which had other lines through East An ...
's London to Norwich line. The station was outside the town centre following pressure from the university to restrict travel by undergraduates. With the arrival of the railway and associated employment came development of areas around the station, such as Romsey Town. The rail link to London stimulated heavier industries, such as the production of brick, cement and
malt Malt is germination, germinated cereal grain that has been dried in a process known as "malting". The grain is made to germinate by soaking in water and is then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air. Malted grain is used to ma ...
.


20th and 21st centuries

From the 1930s to the 1980s, the size of the city was increased by several large
council estate Public housing in the United Kingdom, also known as council estates, council housing, or social housing, provided the majority of rented accommodation until 2011 when the number of households in private rental housing surpassed the number in so ...
s. The biggest impact has been on the area north of the river, which are now the estates of East Chesterton, King's Hedges, and Arbury where
Archbishop In Christian denominations, an archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. In most cases, such as the Catholic Church, there are many archbishops who either have jurisdiction over an ecclesiastical province in addition to their own arc ...
Rowan Williams Rowan Douglas Williams, Baron Williams of Oystermouth, (born 14 June 1950) is a Welsh People, Welsh Anglican bishop, theologian and poet. He was the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, a position he held from December 2002 to December 2012. Previ ...
lived and worked as an assistant priest in the early 1980s. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, Cambridge was an important centre for defence of the east coast. The town became a military centre, with an R.A.F. training centre and the regional headquarters for Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire,
Huntingdonshire Huntingdonshire (; abbreviated Hunts) is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire and a historic counties of England, historic county of England. The district council is based in Huntingdon. Other towns include St Ives, Cambridgeshire, St ...
, Hertfordshire, and
Bedfordshire Bedfordshire (; abbreviated Beds) is a ceremonial county in the East of England. The county has been administered by three Unitary authorities of England, unitary authorities, Borough of Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Borough of Luton, since B ...
established during the conflict. The town itself escaped relatively lightly from German bombing raids, which were mainly targeted at the railway. 29 people were killed and no historic buildings were damaged. In 1944, a secret meeting of military leaders held in Trinity College laid the foundation for the allied invasion of Europe. During the war Cambridge served as an evacuation centre for over 7,000 people from London, as well as for parts of the
University of London The University of London (UoL; abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city o ...
. Cambridge was granted its
city charter A city charter or town charter (generically, municipal charter) is a legal document (''charter'') establishing a municipality such as a city or town. The concept developed in Europe during the Middle Ages. Traditionally the granting of a charter ...
in 1951 in recognition of its history, administrative importance and economic success. Cambridge does not have a cathedral, traditionally a prerequisite for city status, instead falling within the Church of England
Diocese of Ely The Diocese of Ely is a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury. It is headed by the Bishop of Ely, who sits at Ely Cathedral in Ely, Cambridgeshire, Ely. There is one suffragan bishop, suffragan (subordinate) bishop, the Bish ...
. In 1962 Cambridge's first shopping arcade, Bradwell's Court, opened on Drummer Street, though this was demolished in 2006. 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 A kite is a tethered heavier than air flight, heavier-than-air or lighter-than-air craft with wing surfaces that react against the air to create Lift (force), lift and Drag (physics), drag forces. A kite consists of wings, tethers and anchors. ...
area of the city. This latter project was controversial at the time. The city gained its second University in 1992 when Anglia Polytechnic became Anglia Polytechnic University. Renamed
Anglia Ruskin University Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership, owned by the state or receives significant government spending, public funds through a nation ...
in 2005, the institution has its origins in the Cambridge School of Art opened in 1858 by
John Ruskin John Ruskin (8 February 1819 20 January 1900) was an English people, English writer, philosopher, art critic and polymath of the Victorian era. He wrote on subjects as varied as geology, architecture, myth, ornithology, literature, education, b ...
.
The Open University The Open University (OU) is a British Public university, public research university and the largest university in the United Kingdom by List of universities in the United Kingdom by enrolment, number of students. The majority of the OU's underg ...
also has a presence in the city, with an office operating on Hills Road.


Governance


Local government

Cambridge is a
non-metropolitan district Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially "shire districts", are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties (colloquially ''shire counties'') in a two-tier arrangement. Non ...
– one of six districts within the county of Cambridgeshire – and is administered by
Cambridge City Council Cambridge City Council is a district council in the county of Cambridgeshire, which governs the City of Cambridge. History Cambridge was granted a Royal charter, Royal Charter by King John in 1207, which permitted the appointment of a mayor. Th ...
. The district covers most of the city's urban area, although some suburbs extend into the surrounding
South Cambridgeshire South Cambridgeshire is a Non-metropolitan district, local government district of Cambridgeshire, England, with a population of 162,119 at the 2021 census. It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Chesterton Rural District and South Cambr ...
district. The city council's headquarters are in the
Guildhall A guildhall, also known as a "guild hall" or "guild house", is a historical building originally used for guild, tax collecting by municipalities or merchants in Great Britain and the Low Countries. These buildings commonly become town halls and i ...
, a large building in the market square. 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. City councillors now elect a mayor annually. For electoral purposes the city is divided into 14 wards: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, East Chesterton, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's,
Romsey Romsey ( ) is a historic market town in the county of Hampshire, England. Romsey was home to the 17th-century philosopher and economist William Petty and the 19th-century British prime minister, Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, Lord ...
,
Trumpington Trumpington is a village and parish to the south of Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam approximately north of London. As of the 2021 ...
, and West Chesterton. At the 2019 election, Labour retained its majority. Each of the 14 wards also elects councillors to
Cambridgeshire County Council Cambridgeshire County Council is the county council of Cambridgeshire, England. The council consists of 61 councillors, representing 59 electoral divisions. The council is based at New Shire Hall, Alconbury Weald, New Shire Hall at Alconbury Wea ...
, which is responsible for services including school education, social care and highways. Since 2017, Cambridge has also been within the area of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, which is led by a directly elected Mayor. The city is represented on the authority by the leader of the City Council.


Westminster

The
parliamentary A parliamentary system, or parliamentarian democracy, is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy ...
constituency of Cambridge covers most of the city;
Daniel Zeichner Daniel Stephen Zeichner (born 9 November 1956) is a British politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) for Cambridge (UK Parliament constituency), Cambridge since 2015 United Kingdom general ...
( Labour) has represented the seat since the 2015 general election. The seat was generally held by the
Conservatives Conservatism is a Philosophy of culture, cultural, Social philosophy, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in r ...
until it was won by Labour in 1992, then taken by the Liberal Democrats in 2005 and 2010, before returning to Labour in 2015. A southern area of the city, Queen Edith's ward, falls within the
South Cambridgeshire South Cambridgeshire is a Non-metropolitan district, local government district of Cambridgeshire, England, with a population of 162,119 at the 2021 census. It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Chesterton Rural District and South Cambr ...
constituency, whose MP is Anthony Browne (Conservative), first elected in 2019. The University of Cambridge formerly had two seats in the House of Commons; Sir
Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, Theology, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosophy, natural philosopher"), widely ...
was one of the most notable MPs. The Cambridge University constituency was abolished under 1948 legislation, and ceased at the dissolution of Parliament for the 1950 general election, along with the other
university constituencies A university constituency is a constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, or (election) precinct is a subdivision of a larger state ( ...
.


Geography and environment

Cambridge is situated about north-by-east of London and 95 miles (152 kilometres) east of Birmingham. The city is located in an area of level and relatively low-lying terrain just south of
the Fens The Fens, also known as the , in eastern England are a naturally marshy region supporting a rich ecology and numerous species. Most of the fens were drained centuries ago, resulting in a flat, dry, low-lying agricultural region supported by a ...
, which varies between
above sea level Height above mean sea level is a measure of the Vertical position, vertical distance (height, elevation or altitude) of a location in reference to a historic mean sea level taken as a vertical datum. In geodesy, it is formalized as ''orthometric h ...
. The town was thus historically surrounded by low-lying wetlands that have been drained as the town has expanded. The underlying geology of Cambridge consists of
gault The Gault Formation is a geological formation of stiff blue clay deposited in a calm, fairly deep-water marine environment during the Lower Cretaceous Period (Upper and Middle Albian). It is well exposed in the coastal cliffs at Copt Point in Fol ...
clay and Chalk Marl, known locally as Cambridge Greensand, partly overlaid by terrace gravel. A layer of phosphatic nodules ( coprolites) under the marl was mined in the 19th century for fertiliser; this became a major industry in the county, and its profits yielded buildings such as the Corn Exchange, Fulbourn Hospital, and St. John's Chapel until the Quarries Act 1894 and competition from America ended production. The
River Cam The River Cam () is the main river flowing through Cambridge in eastern England. After leaving Cambridge, it flows north and east before joining the River Great Ouse to the south of Ely, Cambridgeshire, Ely, at Pope's Corner. The total distanc ...
flows through the city from the village of Grantchester, to the southwest. It is bordered by water meadows within the city such as Sheep's Green as well as residential development. 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 Green,
Parker's Piece Parker's Piece is a flat and roughly square green commons, common located near the centre of Cambridge, England, regarded by some as the birthplace of the rules of association football. The two main walking and cycling paths across it run diago ...
and Midsummer Common. Many of the roads in the centre are pedestrianised. Population growth has seen new housing developments in the 21st century, with estates such as the CB1 and
Accordia Accordia is a housing development in Cambridge, England. The site includes 378 dwellings by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects, Maccreanor Lavington and Alison Brooks Architects and has been constructed in three pha ...
schemes near the station, and developments such as Great Kneighton, formally known as Clay Farm, and Trumpington Meadows currently under construction in the south of the city. Other major developments currently being constructed in the city are Darwin Green (formerly NIAB), and University-led developments at
West Cambridge West Cambridge is a university site to the west of Cambridge city centre in England. As part of the ''West Cambridge Master Plan'', several of the University of Cambridge's departments have relocated to the West Cambridge site from the centre ...
and North West Cambridge, ( Eddington). The entire city centre, as well as parts of Chesterton, Petersfield, West Cambridge, Newnham, and Abbey, are covered by an Air Quality Management Area, implemented to counter high levels of
nitrogen dioxide Nitrogen dioxide is a chemical compound with the formula . It is one of several nitrogen oxides. is an intermediate in the industrial synthesis of nitric acid, millions of tons of which are produced each year for use primarily in the productio ...
in the atmosphere.


Climate

The city has an
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a marine climate, is the humid temperate climate sub-type in Köppen climate classification, Köppen classification ''Cfb'', typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring ...
. ( Köppen: ''Cfb''). Cambridge has an official weather observing station, at the
Cambridge University Botanic Garden The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a botanical garden located in Cambridge, England, associated with the university Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Department of Plant Sciences (formerly Botany School). It lies be ...
, about south of the city centre. In addition, the Digital Technology Group of the university's Department of Computer Science and Technology maintains a weather station on the West Cambridge site, displaying current weather conditions online via web browsers or an app, and also an archive dating back to 1995. The city, like most of the UK, has a
maritime climate An oceanic climate, also known as a marine climate, is the humid temperate climate sub-type in Köppen climate classification, Köppen classification ''Cfb'', typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring ...
highly influenced by the
Gulf Stream The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension the North Atlantic Current, North Atlantic Drift, is a warm and swift Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and flows through the Straits of Florida a ...
. Located in the driest region of Britain, Cambridge's rainfall averages around per year, around half the national average, The driest recent year was in 2011 with of rain at the Botanic Garden and at the NIAB site. This is just below the
semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is a dry climate sub-type. It is located on regions that receive precipitation below Evapotranspiration#Potential evapotranspiration, potential evapotranspiration, but not as low as a des ...
precipitation threshold for the area, which is 350mm of annual precipitation. Conversely, 2012 was the wettest year on record, with reported. Snowfall accumulations are usually small, in part because of Cambridge's low elevation, and low precipitation tendency during transitional snow events. Owing to its low-lying, inland, and easterly position within the British Isles, summer temperatures tend to be somewhat higher than areas further west, and often rival or even exceed those recorded in the London area. Cambridge also often records the annual highest national temperature in any given year – in July 2008 at NIAB and in August 2007 at the Botanic Garden are two recent examples. Other years include 1876, 1887, 1888, 1892, 1897, 1899 and 1900. The absolute maximum stands at recorded on 19 July 2022 at Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Before this date, Cambridge held the record for the all-time maximum temperature in the UK, after recording on 25 July 2019. Typically the temperature will reach or higher on over 25 days of the year over the 1981–2010 period, with the annual warmest day averaging over the same period. The absolute minimum temperature recorded at the Botanic Garden site was , recorded in February 1947, although a minimum of was recorded at the now defunct observatory site in December 1879. More recently the temperature fell to on 11 February 2012, on 22 January 2013 and on 20 December 2010. The average frequency of air frosts ranges from 42.8 days at the NIAB site, to 48.3 days at the Botanic Garden per year over the 1981–2010 period. Typically the coldest night of the year at the Botanic Garden will fall to . Such minimum temperatures and frost averages are typical for inland areas across much of southern and central England. Sunshine averages around 1,500 hours a year or around 35% of possible, a level typical of most locations in inland central England.


Ecology

The city contains three
Sites of Special Scientific Interest A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Great Britain or an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom and Isle of ...
(SSSIs), at Cherry Hinton East Pit, Cherry Hinton West Pit, and Travellers Pit, and ten Local Nature Reserves (LNRs): Sheep's Green and Coe Fen, Coldham's Common, Stourbridge Common, Nine Wells, Byron's Pool, West Pit, Paradise, Barnwell West, Barnwell East, and Logan's Meadow.


Green belt

Cambridge is completely enclosed by
green belt A green belt is a policy and land-use zone designation used in land-use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wilderness, wild, or agricultural landscape, land surrounding or neighboring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenway (lan ...
as a part of a wider environmental and planning policy first defined in 1965 and formalised in 1992. While some small tracts of green belt exist on the fringes of the city's boundary, much of the protection is in the surrounding South Cambridgeshire and nearby
East Cambridgeshire East Cambridgeshire (locally known as East Cambs) is a Non-metropolitan district, local government district in Cambridgeshire, England. Its council is based in Ely, Cambridgeshire, Ely. The population of the District Council at the 2011 Census wa ...
districts, helping to maintain local green space, prevent further
urban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is defined as "the spreading of urban developments (such as houses and shopping centers) on undeveloped land near a city." Urban sprawl has been described as the unrestricted growt ...
and unplanned expansion of the city, as well as protecting smaller outlying villages from further convergence with each other as well as the city.


Demography

At the 2011 Census, the population of the Cambridge contiguous built-up area (urban area) was 158,434, while that of the City Council area was 123,867. In the 2001 Census held 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 identified 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%)ONS 2001 Census (Approximated Social Grade – Workplace Population, Cambridge local authority) and a much lower than average proportion of manual workers (27.6% vs. 40.2%). In addition, 41.2% have a higher-level qualification (e.g. degree,
Higher National Diploma Higher National Diploma (HND), part of the Higher Nationals suite of qualifications, is an academic higher education qualification in the United Kingdom and various other countries. They were first introduced in England and Wales in 1920 alongsi ...
, Master's or PhD), much higher than the national average proportion (19.7%).
Centre for Cities The Centre for Cities is an independent, non-partisan Nonpartisanism is a lack of affiliation with, and a lack of bias towards, a political party. While an Oxford English Dictionary definition of ''partisan'' includes adherents of a party, ...
identified Cambridge as the UK's most unequal city in 2017 and 2018. Residents' income was the least evenly distributed of 57 British cities measured, with its top 6% earners accounting for 19% of its total income and the bottom 20% for only 2%, and a Gini coefficient of 0.460 in 2018.


Historical population

Local census 1749 Census: Regional District 1801–1901 Civil Parish 1911–1961 District 1971–2011


Ethnicity


Religion


Economy

The town's river link to the surrounding agricultural land, and good road connections to London in the south meant Cambridge has historically served as an important regional trading post. King Henry I granted Cambridge a monopoly on river trade, privileging this area of the economy of Cambridge The town market provided for trade in a wide variety of goods and annual trading fairs such as Stourbridge Fair and Midsummer Fair were visited by merchants from across the country. The river was described in an account of 1748 as being "often so full of erchant boatsthat the navigation thereof is stopped for some time". For example, 2000 firkins of butter were brought up the river every Monday from the agricultural lands to the North East, particularity Norfolk, to be unloaded in the town for road transportation to London. Changing patterns of retail distribution and the advent of the railways led to a decline in Cambridge's importance as a market town. Cambridge today has a diverse economy with strength in sectors such as research and development, software consultancy, high value engineering, creative industries, pharmaceuticals and tourism. Described as one of the "most beautiful cities in the world" by ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family (publishers), Forbes family. Published eight times a year, it features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing ...
'' in 2010, with the view from
The Backs The Backs is a picturesque area to the east of Queen's Road, Cambridge, Queen's Road in the city of Cambridge, England, where several colleges of the University of Cambridge back on to the River Cam, their grounds covering both banks of the river ...
being selected as one of the 10 greatest in England by
National Trust The National Trust, formally the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, there is a separate and ...
chair
Simon Jenkins Sir Simon David Jenkins (born 10 June 1943) is a British author, a newspaper columnist and editor. He was editor of the ''Evening Standard'' from 1976 to 1978 and of ''The Times'' from 1990 to 1992. Jenkins chaired the National Trust from 20 ...
, tourism generates over £750 million for the city's economy. Cambridge and its surrounds are sometimes referred to as
Silicon Fen Silicon Fen (also known as the Cambridge Cluster) is the name given to the region around Cambridge, England, which is home to a large business cluster, cluster of high-tech businesses focusing on software, electronics and biotechnology, s ...
, an allusion to
Silicon Valley Silicon Valley is a region in Northern California that serves as a global center for high technology and innovation. Located in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area, it corresponds roughly to the geographical areas San Mateo County, ...
, because of the density of high-tech businesses and technology incubators that have developed on
science park A science park (also called a "university research park", "technology park”, "technopark", “technopole", or a "science and technology park" (STP)) is defined as being a property-based development that accommodates and fosters the growt ...
s around the city. Many of these parks and buildings are owned or leased by university colleges, and the companies often have been spun out of the university.
Cambridge Science Park The Cambridge Science Park, founded by Trinity College, Cambridge, Trinity College in 1970, is the oldest science park in the United Kingdom. It is a concentration of science and technology related businesses, and has strong links with the nea ...
, which is the largest commercial R&D centre in Europe, is owned by
Trinity College Trinity College may refer to: Australia * Trinity Anglican College, an Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican coeducational primary and secondary school in , New South Wales * Trinity Catholic College, Auburn, a coeducational school in the inner-w ...
; St John's is the landlord of St John's Innovation Centre. Technology companies include Abcam, CSR, ARM Limited, CamSemi, Jagex and Sinclair.
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation producing Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services headquartered at th ...
has located its Microsoft Research UK offices in
West Cambridge West Cambridge is a university site to the west of Cambridge city centre in England. As part of the ''West Cambridge Master Plan'', several of the University of Cambridge's departments have relocated to the West Cambridge site from the centre ...
, separate from the main Microsoft UK campus in
Reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of Letter (alphabet), letters, symbols, etc., especially by Visual perception, sight or Somatosensory system, touch. For educators and researchers, reading is a multifaceted process invo ...
, and also has an office on Station Road. Cambridge was also the home of
Pye Ltd Pye can refer to: Businesses * Pye (electronics company), British electronics manufacturer * Pye Records, British record label ** Pye International Records, a subsidiary People * Pye (surname) * Pye Dubois, musician * Pye Hastings, musician * Pye ...
, founded in 1898 by W. G. Pye, who worked in the
Cavendish Laboratory The Cavendish Laboratory is the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge, and is part of the School of Physical Sciences. The laboratory was opened in 1874 on the New Museums Site as a laboratory for experimental physics and is named ...
; it began by supplying the university and later specialised in wireless telegraphy equipment, radios, televisions and also defence equipment. Pye Ltd evolved into several other companies including
TETRA Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA; formerly known as Trans-European Trunked Radio), a European standard for a trunked radio system, is a professional mobile radio and two-way transceiver specification. TETRA was specifically designed for use by ...
radio equipment manufacturer
Sepura Sepura Limited is a British telecommunications equipment Telecommunications equipment (also telecoms equipment or communications equipment) are hardware which are used for the purposes of telecommunications. Since the 1990s the boundary betwe ...
. Another major business is Marshall Aerospace located on the eastern edge of the city. The Cambridge Network keeps businesses in touch with each other.


Transport


Road

Due to its rapid growth in the 20th century, Cambridge has a congested road network. The
M11 motorway The M11 is a motorway A controlled-access highway is a type of highway that has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow—ingress and egress—regulated. Common English terms are freeway, motorway and expr ...
from east London terminates to the north-west of the city where it joins the A14, a major freight route which connects the port of
Felixstowe Felixstowe ( ) is a port town in Suffolk, England. The estimated population in 2017 was 24,521. The Port of Felixstowe is the largest Containerization, container port in the United Kingdom. Felixstowe is approximately 116km (72 miles) northea ...
on the east coast with the
Midlands The Midlands (also referred to as Central England) are a part of England that broadly correspond to the Mercia, Kingdom of Mercia of the Early Middle Ages, bordered by Wales, Northern England and Southern England. The Midlands were important in ...
. The A428 connects the city with the A1 at St Neots: the route continues westwards towards
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the Un ...
(as the
A421 The A421 is an important road for east/west journeys across south central England. Together with the A428 road, A428, the A43 road, A43 and A34 road (England), A34, it forms the route from Cambridge through Milton Keynes to Oxford. The sectio ...
) via
Bedford Bedford is a market town in Bedfordshire, England. At the 2011 Census, the population of the Bedford built-up area (including Biddenham and Kempston) was 106,940, making it the second-largest settlement in Bedfordshire, behind Luton, whilst th ...
and
Milton Keynes Milton Keynes ( ) is a city status in the United Kingdom, city and the largest settlement in Buckinghamshire, England, about north-west of London. At the 2021 Census, the population of Milton Keynes urban area, its urban area was over . The ...
. The A10 connects the city to
King's Lynn King's Lynn, known until 1537 as Bishop's Lynn and colloquially as Lynn, is a port and market town in the borough of King's Lynn and West Norfolk in the county of Norfolk, England. It is located north of London, north-east of Peterborough, nor ...
to the north via Ely and is the historic route south to the
City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and constitutes, alongside Canary Wharf, the primary central bu ...
. , the Greater Cambridge Parternship is consulting on plans comprising: transforming the bus network; investing in other sustainable travel scheme; and creating a sustainable travel zone, which includes the introduction of a congestion charge.


Cycling

As a university town lying on fairly flat ground and with
traffic congestion Traffic congestion is a condition in transport that is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular Queuing theory, queueing. Traffic congestion on urban road networks has increased substantially since the 1950s. ...
, Cambridge has the highest level of cycle use in the UK. According to the 2001 census, 25% of residents travelled to work by bicycle. Furthermore, a survey in 2013 found that 47% of residents travel by bike at least once a week.


Park and ride

Cambridge has five
Park and Ride A park and ride, also known as incentive parking or a commuter lot, is a parking lot with public transport connections that allows commuters and other people heading to city centres to leave their vehicles and transfer to a bus, rail system (rapi ...
sites, all of which operate seven days a week and are aimed at encouraging motorists to park near the city's edge. Since 2011, the
Cambridgeshire Guided Busway The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, known locally as The Busway, connects Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives, Cambridgeshire, St Ives in the English county of Cambridgeshire. It is the longest guided busway in the world, overtaking the O-Bahn Buswa ...
has carried bus services into the centre of Cambridge from St Ives,
Huntingdon Huntingdon is a market town in the Huntingdonshire district in Cambridgeshire, England. The town was given its town charter by John, King of England, King John in 1205. It was the county town of the historic county of Huntingdonshire. Oliver Cr ...
and other towns and villages along the routes, operated by Stagecoach in the Fens and
Whippet The Whippet is a dog breed of medium size. It is a sighthound breed that originated in England, descended from the Greyhound. Whippets today still strongly resemble a smaller Greyhound. Part of the hound group, Whippets have relatively few ...
. The A service continues on to the railway station and Addenbrookes, before terminating at a new Park and Ride in
Trumpington Trumpington is a village and parish to the south of Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam approximately north of London. As of the 2021 ...
. Since 2017, it has also linked to Cambridge North railway station.


Air

Although Cambridge has its own airport, Cambridge City Airport, it has no scheduled services and is used mainly by charter and training flights and by Marshall Aerospace for aircraft maintenance.
London Stansted Airport London Stansted Airport is a Airports of London, tertiary international airport serving London, England, United Kingdom. It is located near Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, England, northeast of Central London. London Stansted serves over 16 ...
, about south via the M11 or direct rail, offers a broad range of international destinations.


Metro

In February 2020, consultations opened for a transport system known as the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro. It would have connected the historic city centre and the existing busway route with the mainline railway stations,
Cambridge Science Park The Cambridge Science Park, founded by Trinity College, Cambridge, Trinity College in 1970, is the oldest science park in the United Kingdom. It is a concentration of science and technology related businesses, and has strong links with the nea ...
, and Haverhill. In May 2021 the newly elected mayor said he was focused instead on a "revamped bus network" but would not yet abandon the work done.


Rail

Cambridge railway station Cambridge railway station is the principal station serving the city of Cambridge in the east of England. It stands at the end of Station Road, Cambridge, Station Road, south-east of the city centre. It is the northern terminus of the West Ang ...
was opened in 1845, initially linking to Bishopsgate station in London, via Bishops Stortford. Further lines opened throughout the 19th century, including the Cambridge and St Ives branch line, the Stour Valley Railway, the
Cambridge to Mildenhall railway The Cambridge to Mildenhall railway is a closed railway between Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam approximately north of London. As of ...
, and the
Varsity Line The Varsity Line (or the Oxford to Cambridge railway line) was the main railway route that once linked the English university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, operated by the London and North Western Railway. During World War II the line was ...
to Oxford. Another station was opened in Cherry Hinton though, at the time, this was a separate village to Cambridge. Several of these lines were closed during the 1960s. Today, Cambridge station has direct rail links to London with termini at (via the Cambridge Line and the
East Coast Main Line The East Coast Main Line (ECML) is a Railway electrification system, electrified railway between London and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham, England, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle. The line is a k ...
), (on the
West Anglia Main Line The West Anglia Main Line is one of the two main lines that operate out of , the other being the Great Eastern Main Line, which operates services to Ipswich and Norwich via Colchester. It runs generally north through Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Harlo ...
) and St Pancras (on the
Thameslink Thameslink is a 24-hour main-line route in the British railway system, running from , , , and via central London to Sutton, , , Rainham, , , , and . The network opened as a through service in 1988, with severe overcrowding by 1998, carrying ...
line). Commuter trains to King's Cross run every half-hour during peak hours, with a journey time of 53 minutes. Trains also run to and (via the Fen Line), (via the
Breckland Line The Breckland line is a secondary railway line in the east of England that links in the west to in the east. The line runs through three counties: Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk. It takes its name from the Breckland region of Norfolk, an ...
), ,
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...
, , , ,
Stansted Airport London Stansted Airport is a Airports of London, tertiary international airport serving London, England, United Kingdom. It is located near Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, England, northeast of Central London. London Stansted serves over 16 ...
,
Brighton Brighton () is a seaside resort and one of the two main areas of the City of Brighton and Hove in the county of East Sussex, England. It is located south of London. Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Ag ...
and
Gatwick Airport Gatwick Airport (), also known as London Gatwick , is a major international airport near Crawley, West Sussex, England, south of Central London. In 2021, Gatwick was the third-busiest airport by List of busiest airports in the United Kingdo ...
railway stations. A second railway station, Cambridge North, opened on 21 May 2017, having originally planned to open in March 2015. A third railway station, , near Addenbrooke's Hospital, has been proposed; it is expected to open in 2025.


Education

Cambridge's two universities, the collegiate
University of Cambridge The University of Cambridge is a Public university, public collegiate university, collegiate research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III of England, Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the world' ...
and the local campus of
Anglia Ruskin University Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership, owned by the state or receives significant government spending, public funds through a nation ...
, serve around 30,000 students, by some estimates. Cambridge University estimated its 2007/08 student population at 17,662, and Anglia Ruskin reports 24,000 students across its two campuses (one of which is outside Cambridge, in
Chelmsford Chelmsford () is a City status in the United Kingdom, city in the City of Chelmsford district in the county of Essex, England. It is the county town of Essex and one of three cities in the county, along with Southend-on-Sea and Colchester. It ...
) for the same period. ARU now (2019) has additional campuses in London and Peterborough. State provision in the
further education Further education (often abbreviated FE) in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the Eur ...
sector includes
Hills Road Sixth Form College Hills Road Sixth Form College (commonly referred to as HRSFC, Hills Road or just Hills) is a public sector The public sector, also called the state sector, is the part of the economy composed of both public services and public enterprises. ...
, Long Road Sixth Form College, and Cambridge Regional College. Both state and independent schools 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. Netherhall School, Chesterton Community College, the Parkside Federation (comprising Parkside Community College and Coleridge Community College), North Cambridge Academy and the Christian inter-denominational St Bede's School provide comprehensive secondary education. Many other pupils from the Cambridge area attend village colleges, an educational institution unique to Cambridgeshire, which serve as secondary schools during the day and adult education centres outside of school hours. Independent schools in the city include The Perse School, Stephen Perse Foundation, Sancton Wood School, St Mary's School, Heritage School and The Leys School. The city has one
university technical college A university technical college (UTC) is a type of Specialist school (United Kingdom), specialist secondary school in England that is led by a sponsor Universities in the United Kingdom, university and has close ties to local business and industry. ...
, Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology, which opened in September 2014.


Sport


Football

Cambridge played a unique role in the invention of modern
football Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, Kick (football), kicking a Football (ball), ball to score a Goal (sport), goal. Unqualified, Football (word), the word ''football'' normally means the form of football tha ...
: the game's first set of rules were drawn up by members of the university in 1848. The Cambridge Rules were first played on
Parker's Piece Parker's Piece is a flat and roughly square green commons, common located near the centre of Cambridge, England, regarded by some as the birthplace of the rules of association football. The two main walking and cycling paths across it run diago ...
and had a 'defining influence on the 1863
Football Association The Football Association (also known as The FA) is the Sports governing body, governing body of association football in England and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the ...
rules' which again were first played on Parker's Piece. The city is home to Cambridge United FC, who play at the Abbey Stadium. Formed in 1912, as Abbey United, they were elected to the
Football League The English Football League (EFL) is a league of professional association football, football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in Association football around the wor ...
in 1970 and reached the
Football League Second Division The Football League Second Division was the second level division in the English football league system between 1892–93 Football League, 1892 and 1992–93 Football League, 1992. Following the foundation of the FA Premier League, the Football ...
in 1978, although a serious decline in them in the mid-1980s saw them drop back down to the
Football League Fourth Division The Football League Fourth Division was the fourth-highest division in the English football league system from the 1958-59 in English football, 1958–59 season until the creation of the Premier League prior to the 1992-93 in English football, 19 ...
and almost go out of business. Success returned to the club in the early 1990s when they won two successive promotions and reached the
FA Cup The Football Association Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the FA Cup, is an annual Single-elimination tournament, knockout association football, football competition in men's domestic Football in England, English football. First played d ...
quarter finals in both of those seasons and, in 1992, they came close to becoming the first English team to win three successive Football League promotions which would have taken them into the newly created
FA Premier League The Premier League (legal name: The Football Association Premier League Limited) is the highest level of the men's English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Foo ...
; however, they were beaten in the play-offs and another decline set in. In 2005, they were relegated from the Football League and, for the second time in 20 years, narrowly avoided going out of business. After nine years of non-league football, they returned to the Football League in 2014 by winning the
Conference National The National League, known as the Vanarama National League for sponsorship reasons, is the highest level of the National League System and fifth-highest of the overall English football league system. It is the highest league that is semi-professi ...
play-offs. Cambridge United WFC is a women's only football club based in Cambridge. The team compete in the FA Women's National League South East. The club plays home games at St Neots Town F.C. and the Abbey Stadium. Cambridge City FC of the Southern Football League Premier Division now play in the adjoining village of Histon. Formed in Cambridge in 1908, as Cambridge Town, the club were Southern Premier League champions in 1962–63, the highest they have finished in the
English football pyramid The English football league system, also known as the football pyramid, is a series of League system, interconnected leagues for men's association football clubs in England, with five teams from Wales, one from Guernsey, one from Jersey and one ...
. After a legal dispute with their landlords, the club left their home ground in Cambridge in order to groundshare with fellow Southern League Premier club Histon FC in 2013-14 and intend to construct a new ground outside the city, in Sawston.


Cricket

Parker's Piece was used for
first-class cricket First-class cricket, along with List A cricket and Twenty20 cricket, is one of the highest-standard forms of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, fi ...
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 The National Counties, known as the Minor Counties before 2020, are the cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket ...
team Cambridgeshire CCC. The Cambridgeshire Cricket Association operates an amateur
club cricket Club cricket is a mainly amateur, but still formal, form of the sport of cricket, usually involving teams playing in competitions at weekends or in the evening. There is a great deal of variation in game format although the Laws of Cricket are obs ...
league with six adult divisions, including numerous clubs in the city, plus junior divisions. Most of the university colleges also operate their own teams, and there are several casual village cricket teams that play in the city suburbs.


Rugby

The city is represented in both codes of
Rugby football Rugby football is the collective name for the team sports of rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated at Rugby School in the first half of the 19th ...
.
Rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated at Rugby School in the first half of the 19th century. One of the Comparison of rugby league and rugby union, two codes of ru ...
club Cambridge R.U.F.C. were founded in 1923 and play in National League 1 at their home ground, Grantchester Road, in the south-west corner of the city. Cambridge Lions represent the city in
rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league and sometimes football, footy, rugby or league, is a contact sport, full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular Rugby league playing field, field measur ...
and are members of East Rugby League.


Watersports

The River Cam, which runs through the city centre, is used for boating. The university and its colleges are well known for
rowing Rowing is the act of propelling a human-powered watercraft using the sweeping motions of oars to displace water and generate reaction (physics), reactional propulsion. Rowing is functionally similar to paddling, but rowing requires oars to ...
and the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association, formed in 1868, organises competitive rowing on the river outside of the university. Rowing clubs based in the city include City of Cambridge RC, Cambridge '99 RC, Cantabrigian RC and Rob Roy BC. Parts of the Cam are used for recreational punting, a type of boating in which the craft is propelled by pushing against the river bed with a
quant pole Quant may refer to: * Quant (surname) * Quant pole, used to propel a barge * A financial jargon term for: ** Quantitative analyst, someone who applies mathematical techniques to financial investment ** Quantitative fund, an investment fund manag ...
. Cambridge Swimming Club, Cambridge Dive team and City of Cambridge Water Polo Club are all based at Parkside Swimming Pool.


Parkour/freerunning

Home and training ground to many influential traceurs, Cambridge is well known for its vibrant, and at times high-profile,
parkour Parkour () is an athletic Training#Physical training, training discipline or sport in which practitioners (called ''traceurs'') attempt to get from point A to point B in the fastest and most efficient way possible, without assisting equipment a ...
and freerunning scene.


Other sports

Cambridge is home to two
real tennis Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of kings" – is the original List of racquet sports, racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis (also called "lawn tennis") is derived. It is also known as court ...
courts (out of about 50 in the world) at Cambridge University Real Tennis Club. Cambridgeshire Cats play
American football American football (referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada), also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American football field, field with goalposts at each end. Th ...
at Coldham's Common. Cambridge Royals are members of the
British Baseball Federation The British Baseball Federation (BBF) is the Sports governing body, national governing body of baseball within the United Kingdom. Organised modern baseball has been played in the United Kingdom since Baseball in the United Kingdom, the first ba ...
's Triple-A South Division. Cambridge has two cycling clubs: Team Cambridge and Cambridge Cycling Club. Cambridge & Coleridge Athletic Club is the city's track and field club, based at the University of Cambridge's Wilberforce Road track. Cambridge
Handball Handball (also known as team handball, European handball or Olympic handball) is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each (six outcourt players and a Handball goalkeeper, goalkeeper) pass a ball using their hands with the aim of t ...
Club compete in the men's England Handball National Super 8 League and the women's England Handball National Super 7 League. There are three field hockey clubs; Cambridge City Hockey Club, Cambridge South Hockey Club and Cambridge Nomads. The city is also represented in
polo Polo is a ball game played on horseback, a traditional field sport and one of the world's oldest known team sports. The game is played by two opposing teams with the objective of score (game), scoring using a long-handled wooden mallet to hit ...
by Cambridge Polo Club, based in Barton, just outside the city. The Romsey Town Rollerbillies play
roller derby Roller derby is a roller skating contact sport played by two teams of fifteen members. Roller derby is played by approximately 1,250 amateur leagues worldwide, mostly in the United States. Game play consists of a series of short scrimmages (jam ...
in Cambridge. Speedway racing was formerly staged at a greyhound stadium in Coldhams Lane.


Varsity sports

Cambridge is known for the sporting events between the
University of Cambridge The University of Cambridge is a Public university, public collegiate university, collegiate research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III of England, Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the world' ...
and the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
, especially the rugby union
Varsity Match A varsity match is a fixture (especially of a sporting event or team) between two university teams, particularly University of Oxford, Oxford and University of Cambridge, Cambridge. The Scottish Varsity rugby union, rugby match between the Univers ...
and the Boat Race, though many of these do not take place within either Cambridge or Oxford.


Culture


Theatre

Cambridge's main traditional theatre is the
Arts Theatre The Arts Theatre is a theatre in Great Newport Street, in City of Westminster, Westminster, Central London. History It opened on 20 April 1927 as a members-only club for the performance of unlicensed plays, thus avoiding theatre censorship ...
, a venue with 666 seats in the town centre. 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 with a capacity of 1,800 standing or 1,200 seated. Housed within the city's 19th century former corn exchange building the venue was used for a variety of additional functions throughout the 20th century including tea parties,
motor show An auto show, also known as a motor show or car show, is a public exhibition of current automobile models, debuts, concept cars, or out-of-production classics. It is attended by automotive industry representatives, dealers, auto journalists a ...
s, 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 performances. The newest theatre venue in Cambridge is the 220-seat J2, part of Cambridge Junction in Cambridge Leisure Park. The venue was opened in 2005 and hosts theatre, dance, live music and comedy The ADC Theatre is managed by the University of Cambridge, and typically has 3 shows a week during term time. It hosts the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club which has produced many notable figures in British comedy. The Mumford Theatre is part of
Anglia Ruskin University Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership, owned by the state or receives significant government spending, public funds through a nation ...
, and hosts shows by both student and non-student groups. There are also a number of venues within the colleges.


Museums

Within the city there are several notable museums, some run by the University of Cambridge Museums consortium and others independent of it. The
Fitzwilliam Museum The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities University museum, museum of the University of Cambridge. It is located on Trumpington Street opposite Fitzwilliam Street in central Cambridge. It was founded in 1816 under the will of Richard F ...
is the city's largest, and is the lead museum of the University of Cambridge Museums. Founded in 1816 from the bequeathment and collections of Richard, Viscount FitzWilliam, the museum was originally located in the building of the Perse Grammar School in
Free School Lane Free School Lane is a historic street in central Cambridge, England which includes important buildings of University of Cambridge. It is the location of the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, the Department of History and Philosophy of S ...
. After a brief housing in the University of Cambridge library, it moved to its current, purpose-built building on Trumpington Street in 1848. The museum has five departments: Antiquities; Applied Arts; Coins and Medals; Manuscripts and Printed Books; and Paintings, Drawings and Prints. Other members of the University of Cambridge Museums are the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, The Polar Museum, The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Museum of Classical Archaeology, The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, and the University Museum of Zoology. The Museum of Cambridge, formerly known as the Cambridge & County Folk Museum, is a
social history Social history, often called the new social history, is a field of history that looks at the lived experience of the past. In its "golden age" it was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in his ...
museum located in a former pub on Castle Street.
The Centre for Computing History The Centre for Computing History is a museum in Cambridge, England, established to create a permanent public exhibition telling the story of the Information Age. Overview The museum acts as a repository for vintage computers and related artefac ...
, a museum dedicated to the story of the
Information age The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, Silicon Age, or New Media Age) is a History by period, historical period that began in the mid-20th century. It is characterized by a rapid shift from traditional industries, as e ...
, moved to Cambridge from Haverhill in 2013. Housed in a former sewage pumping station, the Cambridge Museum of Technology has a collection of large exhibits related to the city's
industrial heritage Industrial heritage refers to the physical remains of the history of technology and History of industry, industry, such as manufacturing and mining sites, as well as power and transportation infrastructure. Another definition expands this scop ...
.


Music


Popular music

Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic music, psychedelic groups, they were distinguished by their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philo ...
are the most notable band with roots in Cambridge. The band's former songwriter, guitarist and vocalist
Syd Barrett Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett (6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) was an English singer, songwriter, and musician who co-founded the rock band Pink Floyd in 1965. Barrett was their original frontman and primary songwriter, becoming known for his ...
was born and lived in the city, and he and another founding member,
Roger Waters George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943) is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. In 1965, he co-founded the progressive rock Progressive rock (shortened as prog rock or simply prog; sometimes conflated with art rock ...
, went to school together at
Cambridgeshire High School for Boys The Cambridgeshire High School for Boys was founded as the Cambridge and County School for Boys in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam a ...
.
David Gilmour David Jon Gilmour ( ; born 6 March 1946) is an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and member of the rock band Pink Floyd. He joined as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1967, shortly before the departure of founding member Syd Barrett. P ...
, the guitarist who replaced Barrett, was also a Cambridge resident and attended the nearby
Perse School The Perse School is a Public school (United Kingdom), public school (English Independent school (United Kingdom), independent Day school, day and, in the case of the Perse, a former boarding school) in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1615 by Stephe ...
. Bands that were formed in Cambridge include Clean Bandit,
Henry Cow Henry Cow were an English experimental rock Musical ensemble, group, founded at the University of Cambridge in 1968 by multi-instrumentalists Fred Frith and Tim Hodgkinson. Henry Cow's personnel fluctuated over their decade together, but drummer ...
, The Movies,
Katrina and the Waves Katrina and the Waves were a British Rock music, rock band widely known for the 1985 hit "Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves song), Walking on Sunshine". They also won the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Love Shine a Light" ...
, The Soft Boys, Ezio
The Broken Family Band The Broken Family Band was a British rock band from Cambridge and London. The band was formed in Cambridge, England by Steven James Adams, Steven Adams, Jay Williams (guitarist/composer), Jay Williams, Micky Roman and Gavin Johnson in 2001, f ...
, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, and the pop-classical group the King's Singers, who were formed at the university. Solo artist Boo Hewerdine is from Cambridge, as are
drum and bass Drum and bass (also written as drum & bass or drum'n'bass and commonly abbreviated as D&B, DnB, or D'n'B) is a genre of electronic dance music characterized by fast Break (music)#Breakbeat (element of music), breakbeats (typically 165–185 Te ...
artists (and brothers) Nu:Tone and
Logistics Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics manages the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requirements of ...
. Singers Matthew Bellamy, of the rock band
Muse In ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, mythology, the Muses ( grc, Μοῦσαι, Moûsai, el, Μούσες, Múses) are the Artistic inspiration, inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. They were considered the sou ...
,
Tom Robinson Thomas Giles Robinson (born 1 June 1950) is a British singer, bassist, radio presenter and long-time LGBT rights activist, best known for the hits "Glad to Be Gay", "2-4-6-8 Motorway", and "Don't Take No for an Answer", with his Tom Robinson ...
,
Olivia Newton-John Dame Olivia Newton-John (26 September 1948 – 8 August 2022) was a British-Australian singer, actress and activist. She was a four-time Grammy Awards, Grammy Award winner whose music career included 15 top-ten singles, including 5 number-one s ...
and
Charli XCX Charlotte Emma Aitchison (born 2 August 1992), known professionally as Charli XCX, is an English singer and songwriter. Born in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It ...
were born in the city. 2012
Mercury Prize The Mercury Prize, formerly called the Mercury Music Prize, is an annual music prize awarded for the best album released in the United Kingdom by a British or Irish act. It was created by Jon Webster and Robert Chandler in association with the B ...
winners
Alt-J Alt-J (stylised as alt-J, real name Δ) are an English indie rock Indie rock is a Music subgenre, subgenre of rock music that originated in the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand from the 1970s to the 1980s. Originally used to des ...
are based in Cambridge. Live music venues hosting popular music in the city include the Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge Junction and the Portland Arms, as well as The Blue Moon.


Classical music

Started in 1991, the annual Cambridge Music Festival takes place each November. The Cambridge Summer Music Festival takes place in July.


Contemporary art

Cambridge contains Kettle's Yard gallery of modern and contemporary art and the Heong Gallery which opened to the public in 2016 at Downing College. Anglia Ruskin University operates the publicly accessible Ruskin Gallery within the Cambridge School of Art. Wysing Arts Centre, one of the leading research centres for the visual arts in Europe, is associated with the city, though is located several miles west of Cambridge. Artist-run organisations including Aid & Abet, Cambridge Art Salon, Changing Spaces and Motion Sickness also run exhibitions, events and artists' studios in the city, often in short-term or temporary spaces.


Festivals and events

Several fairs and festivals take place in Cambridge, mostly during the British summer. Midsummer Fair dates back to 1211, when it was granted a charter by King John. Today it exists primarily as an annual
funfair A fair (archaic: faire or fayre) is a gathering of people for a variety of entertainment or commercial activities. Fairs are typically temporary with scheduled times lasting from an afternoon to several weeks. Types Variations of fairs incl ...
with the vestige of a market attached and is held over several days around or close to midsummers day. On the first Saturday in June Midsummer Common is the site for
Strawberry Fair Strawberry Fair is a local festival of music, entertainments, arts and crafts which has been held in Cambridge, England, since 1974. The fair is held on Midsummer Common on the first Saturday in June. It is completely run and organised by volun ...
, a free music and children's fair, with various market stalls. For one week in May, on
Jesus Green Jesus Green is a park in the north of central Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, north of Jesus College, Cambridge, Jesus College. Jesus Ditch runs along the southern edge Jesus Green. On the northern edge of Jesus Green is the River Cam, wit ...
, the annual Cambridge Beer Festival has been held since 1974. Cambridge Folk Festival is held annually in the grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall. The festival has been organised by the city council since its inception in 1964. The Cambridge Summer Music Festival is an annual festival of classical music, held in the university's colleges and chapels. The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is an eight-week season of open-air performances of the works of
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare ( 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's nation ...
, held in the gardens of various colleges of the university. Started in 1977, the
Cambridge Film Festival The Cambridge Film Festival is the third-longest-running film festival in the UK. The festival historically took place during early July, but now takes place annually during Autumn in Cambridge. It is organised by the registered charity Cambrid ...
was held annually in July, moving to September in 2008 to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Edinburgh Film Festival. The Cambridge Science Festival, typically held annually in March, is the United Kingdom's largest free
science festival A science festival is a festival that showcases science and technology with the same freshness and flair that would be expected from an art festival, arts or music festival and primarily targets the general public. These public engagement events ...
. The Cambridge Literary Festival, which focusses on contemporary literary fiction and non-fiction, is held bi-annually in April and November. Between 1975 and 1985 the Cambridge Poetry Festival was held biannually. Other festivals include the annual Mill Road Winter Fair, held the first Saturday of December, the E-luminate Festival, which took place every February from 2013 to 2018, and The Big Weekend, a city outdoor event organised by the City Council every July. Three Cambridge Free Festivals held in 1969, 1970, and 1971 that featured artists including
David Bowie David Robert Jones (8 January 194710 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie ( ), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, he is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the ...
,
King Crimson King Crimson are a progressive rock band formed in 1968 in London, England. The band draws inspiration from a wide variety of music, incorporating elements of classical music, classical, jazz, folk music, folk, heavy metal music, heavy metal, ...
, Roy Harper,
Spontaneous Combustion Spontaneous combustion or spontaneous ignition is a type of combustion Combustion, or burning, is a high-temperature exothermic redox chemical reaction between a fuel (the reductant) and an oxidant, usually atmospheric oxygen, that produ ...
,
UFO An unidentified flying object (UFO), more recently renamed by US officials as a UAP (unidentified aerial phenomenon), is any perceived aerial phenomenon that cannot be immediately identified or explained. On investigation, most UFOs are Ide ...
and others are believed by the festival organiser to have been the first free multiple-day rock music festivals held in the UK.


Literature and film

The city has been the setting for all or part of several novels, including
Douglas Adams Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author and screenwriter, best known for ''The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy''. Originally a 1978 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio series), BBC radio comedy, ''The H ...
' '' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency'',
Rose Macaulay Dame Emilie Rose Macaulay, (1 August 1881 – 30 October 1958) was an English writer, most noted for her award-winning novel ''The Towers of Trebizond'', about a small Anglo-Catholic group crossing Turkey by camel. The story is seen as a spiritua ...
's '' They Were Defeated'', Kate Atkinson's '' Case Histories'', Rebecca Stott's ''Ghostwalk'' and Robert Harris' ''Enigma'', while Susanna Gregory wrote a series of novels set in 14th century Cambridge.
Gwen Raverat Gwendolen Mary "Gwen" Raverat (née Darwin; 26 August 1885 – 11 February 1957), was an English wood engraver who was a founder member of the Society of Wood Engravers. Her memoir '' Period Piece'' was published in 1952. Biography Gwendolen ...
, the granddaughter of
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin ( ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist, widely known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. His proposition that all species of life have descended ...
, talked about her late Victorian Cambridge childhood in her memoir '' Period Piece'', and '' The Night Climbers of Cambridge'' is a book written by Noel Symington under the pseudonym "Whipplesnaith" about nocturnal climbing on the colleges and town buildings of Cambridge in the 1930s. Fictionalised versions of Cambridge appear in
Philippa Pearce Ann Philippa Pearce Order of the British Empire, OBE (22 January 1920 – 21 December 2006) was an English people , English author of children's books. Best known of them is the Time slip, time-slip novel ''Tom's Midnight Garden'', which won the ...
's '' Tom's Midnight Garden'' and '' Minnow on the Say'', the city renamed as Castleford, and as the home of Tom Sharpe's fictional college in '' Porterhouse Blue''. ITV TV series ''Granchester'' was partly filmed in Cambridge.


Television

News and television programmes are broadcast from the BBC East studio in Cambridge that is home to BBC Look East (West) which covers the city,
Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire (abbreviated Cambs.) is a Counties of England, county in the East of England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the north-east, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and North ...
,
Northamptonshire Northamptonshire (; abbreviated Northants.) is a Ceremonial counties of England, county in the East Midlands of England. In 2015, it had a population of 723,000. The county is administered by two unitary authority, unitary authorities: North N ...
,
Bedfordshire Bedfordshire (; abbreviated Beds) is a ceremonial county in the East of England. The county has been administered by three Unitary authorities of England, unitary authorities, Borough of Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Borough of Luton, since B ...
,
Milton Keynes Milton Keynes ( ) is a city status in the United Kingdom, city and the largest settlement in Buckinghamshire, England, about north-west of London. At the 2021 Census, the population of Milton Keynes urban area, its urban area was over . The ...
(
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire (), abbreviated Bucks, is a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in South East England that borders Greater London to the south-east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, ...
) and parts of
Hertfordshire Hertfordshire ( or ; often abbreviated Herts) is one of the home counties in southern England. It borders Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For govern ...
.
ITV Anglia ITV Anglia, previously known as Anglia Television, is the ITV (TV network), ITV franchise holder for the East of England. The station is based at Anglia House in Norwich, with regional news bureaux in Cambridge and Northampton. ITV Anglia is own ...
is another TV news which broadcasts from
Norwich Norwich () is a cathedral city and district of Norfolk, England, of which it is the county town. Norwich is by the River Wensum, about north-east of London, north of Ipswich and east of Peterborough. As the seat of the Episcopal see, See of ...
.


Public services

Cambridge is served by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with several smaller medical centres in the city and a
teaching hospital A teaching hospital is a hospital or medical centre that provides medical education and training to future and current health professionals. Teaching hospitals are almost always affiliated with one or more universities and are often co-located ...
at Addenbrooke's. Located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Addenbrooke's is one of the largest hospitals in the United Kingdom and is a designated regional trauma centre. The East of England Ambulance Service covers the city and has an ambulance station on Hills Road. The smaller Brookfields Hospital stands on Mill Road.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary Cambridgeshire Constabulary is the local territorial police force that covers the county of Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire (abbreviated Cambs.) is a Counties of England, county in the East of England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north ...
provides the city's policing; the main police station is at Parkside, adjacent to the city's
fire station __NOTOC__ A fire station (also called a fire house, fire hall, firemen's hall, or engine house) is a structure or other area for storing firefighting apparatuses such as fire engines and related vehicles, personal protective equipment, fir ...
, operated by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. Cambridge Water Company supplies water services to the city, while Anglian Water provides
sewerage Sewerage (or sewage system) is the infrastructure that conveys sewage or surface runoff (stormwater, meltwater, rainwater) using sewers. It encompasses components such as receiving drainage, drains, manholes, pumping stations, storm overflows, a ...
services. For the supply of electricity, Cambridge is part of the
East of England The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. This region was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics purposes from 1999. It includes the ceremonial counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, ...
region, for which the
distribution network operator A distribution network operator (DNO), also known as a distribution system operator (DSO), is the operator of the electric power distribution system which delivers electricity to most end users. Each country may have many local distribution networ ...
is UK Power Networks. 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 Cambridge Electric Supply Company had provided the city with electricity since the early twentieth century from Cambridge power station. Upon
nationalisation Nationalization (nationalisation in British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer speci ...
of the electricity industry in 1948 ownership passed to the
British Electricity Authority The British Electricity Authority (BEA) was established as the central British electricity authority in 1948 under the nationalisation of Great Britain's electricity supply industry enacted by the Electricity Act 1947. The BEA was responsible for ...
and later to the
Central Electricity Generating Board The Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) was responsible for electricity generation, transmission and bulk sales in England and Wales from 1958 until privatisation of the electricity industry in the 1990s. It was established on 1 Januar ...
. Electricity connections to the national grid rendered the small 7.26
megawatt The watt (symbol: W) is the unit of power or radiant flux in the International System of Units (SI), equal to 1 joule per second or 1 kg⋅m2⋅s−3. It is used to quantify the rate of energy transfer. The watt is named after Jame ...
(MW) coal fired power station redundant. It closed in 1965 and was subsequently demolished; in its final year of operation it delivered 2771
MWh A kilowatt-hour ( unit symbol: kW⋅h or kW h; commonly written as kWh) is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action ...
of electricity to the city. Following the Public Libraries Act 1850 the city's first public library, located on Jesus Lane, was opened in 1855. It was moved to the Guildhall in 1862, and is now located in the Grand Arcade shopping centre. The library was reopened in 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 2007. As of 2018 the city contains six public libraries, run by the County Council. The Cambridge City Cemetery is located to the north of Newmarket Road.


Religion

Cambridge has a number of churches, some of which form a significant part of the city's architectural landscape. Like the rest of Cambridgeshire it is part of the
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, ...
Diocese of Ely The Diocese of Ely is a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury. It is headed by the Bishop of Ely, who sits at Ely Cathedral in Ely, Cambridgeshire, Ely. There is one suffragan bishop, suffragan (subordinate) bishop, the Bish ...
. Great St Mary's Church has the status of "University Church". Many of the university colleges contain chapels that hold services according to the rites and ceremonies of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
, while the chapel of St Edmund's College is Roman Catholic. The city also has a number of theological colleges training clergy for
ordination Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity In religious organizations, the laity () consists of all Church membership, members who are not part of the clergy, usually includ ...
into a number of denominations, with affiliations to both the University of Cambridge and
Anglia Ruskin University Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership, owned by the state or receives significant government spending, public funds through a nation ...
. Cambridge is in the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia and is served by the large
Gothic Revival Gothic Revival (also referred to as Victorian Gothic, neo-Gothic, or Gothick) is an Architectural style, architectural movement that began in the late 1740s in England. The movement gained momentum and expanded in the first half of the 19th cent ...
Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church at the junction of Hills Road and Lensfield Road, St Laurence's on Milton Road, St Vincent De Paul Church on Ditton Lane and by the church of St Philip Howard, in Cherry Hinton Road. There is a
Russian Orthodox Russian Orthodoxy (russian: Русское православие) is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, whose liturgy is or was traditionally conducted in Church Slavonic language. Most C ...
church under the Diocese of Sourozh who worship at the chapel of Westcott House, the
Greek Orthodox Church The term Greek Orthodox Church (Greek language, Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία, ''Ellinorthódoxi Ekklisía'', ) has two meanings. The broader meaning designates "the Eastern Orthodox Church, entire body of Orthodox (Chalced ...
holds services at the purpose-built St Athanasios church under the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, while the
Romanian Orthodox Church The Romanian Orthodox Church (ROC; ro, Biserica Ortodoxă Română, ), or Patriarchate of Romania, is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox Christian churches, and one of the nine patriarcha ...
share St Giles' with the Church of England. There are two
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related Christian denomination, denominations of Protestantism, Protestant Christianity whose origins, doctrine and practice derive from the life and teachings of John W ...
churches in the city. Wesley Methodist Church was built in 1913, and is located next to Christ's Pieces. The Castle Street Methodist Church is the oldest of the two, having been built in 1823, and was formerly a
Primitive Methodist The Primitive Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination with the holiness movement. It began in England in the early 19th century, with the influence of American evangelist Lorenzo Dow (1777–1834). In the United States, the Primiti ...
church. There are three
Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of Christian denomination, denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements ("theFriends") are generally united by a belie ...
Meetings in Cambridge, located on Jesus Lane, Hartington Grove, and a Meeting called "Oast House" that meets in Pembroke College. An Orthodox synagogue and Jewish student centre is located on Thompson's Lane, operated jointly by the Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation and the Cambridge University Jewish Society, which is affiliated to the Union of Jewish Students. The Beth Shalom
Reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to originate from Christopher Wyvill#The Yorkshire Associati ...
synagogue which previously met at a local school, opened a purpose-built synagogue in 2015. There is also a student-led egalitarian
minyan In Judaism, a ''minyan'' ( he, מניין \ מִנְיָן ''mīnyān'' , Literal translation, lit. (noun) ''count, number''; pl. ''mīnyānīm'' ) is the quorum of ten Jewish adults required for certain Mitzvah, religious obligations. In mor ...
which holds services on Friday evenings. Cambridge Central Mosque is the main place of worship for Cambridge's community of around 4,000 Muslims. Opened in 2019, it is described as Europe's first eco-friendly mosque and is the first purpose-built mosque within the city. The Abu Bakr Jamia Islamic Centre on Mawson Road and the Omar Faruque Mosque and Cultural Centre in Kings Hedges are additional places of Muslim worship. Cambridge Buddhist Centre, which belongs to Triratna Buddhist Community, was opened in the former Barnwell Theatre on Newmarket Road in 1998. There are also several local Buddhist meditation groups from various Buddhist including Samatha Trust and Buddha Mettā Society. A
Hindu Hindus (; ) are people who religiously adhere to Hinduism.Jeffery D. Long (2007), A Vision for Hinduism, IB Tauris, , pages 35–37 Historically, the term has also been used as a geographical, cultural, and later religious identifier for ...
shrine was opened in 2010 at the Bharat Bhavan Indian cultural centre off Mill Road. A
Sikh Sikhs ( or ; pa, ਸਿੱਖ, ' ) are people who adhere to Sikhism (Sikhi), a monotheistic religion that originated in the late 15th century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, based on the revelation of Guru Nanak. The ter ...
community has met in the city since 1982, and a
Gurdwara A gurdwara (sometimes written as gurudwara) (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ''guradu'ārā'', meaning "Door to the Sikh gurus, Guru") is a place of assembly and place of worship, worship for Sikhs. Sikhs also refer to gurdwaras as ''Gurdwara Sa ...
was opened in Arbury in 2013.


Twinned cities

Cambridge is twinned with two cities. Like Cambridge, both have universities and are also similar in population;
Heidelberg Heidelberg (; Palatine German: ''Heidlberg'') is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science ...
, Germany since 1965, and
Szeged Szeged ( , ; see also #Etymology, other alternative names) is List of cities and towns of Hungary#Largest cities in Hungary, the third largest city of Hungary, the largest city and regional centre of the Southern Great Plain and the county seat ...
, Hungary since 1987.


Panoramic gallery


See also

* List of bridges in Cambridge * List of churches in Cambridge * Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies * :Buildings and structures in Cambridge * :Organisations based in Cambridge * :People from Cambridge


Explanatory notes


References


Further reading

* * Rawle, Tim (author and photographer), John Adamson (editor). ''
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam approximately north of London. As of the 2021 United Kingdom census, the population of Cambridge was 145,700. Cam ...
'' (new ed. with foreword by William Bortrick). Cambridge: The Oxbridge Portfolio (2016), 204 pp.


External links


Cambridge City Council

Greater Cambridge Partnership

Cambridgeshire Association for Local History

Cambridgeshire Community Archives

Visit Cambridge
the official tourism website for Cambridge {{authority control Cities in the East of England County towns in England Non-metropolitan districts of Cambridgeshire Towns in Cambridgeshire Unparished areas in Cambridgeshire Boroughs in England