Cambridgeshire (// or /-/; abbreviated Cambs.), is an East Anglian county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the north-east, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west. The city of Cambridge is the county town. Modern Cambridgeshire was formed in 1974 as an amalgamation of the counties of Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely and Huntingdon and Peterborough, the former covering the historic county of Cambridgeshire (including the Isle of Ely), and the latter covering the historic county of Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough area of historic Northamptonshire. It contains most of the region known as Silicon Fen.
Local government is divided between Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, which is a separate unitary authority. Under the county council, there are five district councils, Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and Fenland District Council.
Cambridgeshire is noted as the site of Flag Fen in Fengate, one of the earliest-known Neolithic permanent settlements in the United Kingdom, compared in importance to Balbridie in Aberdeen, Scotland. A great quantity of archaeological finds from the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age were made in East Cambridgeshire. Most items were found in Isleham.
Cambridgeshire was recorded in the Domesday Book as "Grantbridgeshire" (or rather Grentebrigescire) (related to the river Granta).
Covering a large part of East Anglia, Cambridgeshire today is the result of several local government unifications. In 1888 when county councils were introduced, separate councils were set up, following the traditional division of Cambridgeshire, for
In 1965, these two administrative counties were merged to form Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. Under the Local Government Act 1972 this merged with the county to the west, Huntingdon and Peterborough. (The latter had been organised in 1965 by the merger of Huntingdonshire with the Soke of Peterborough – previously a part of Northamptonshire which had its own county council). The resulting county was called simply Cambridgeshire.
Since 1998, the City of Peterborough has been a separately administered area, as a unitary authority. It is associated with Cambridgeshire for ceremonial purposes such as Lieutenancy, and joint functions such as policing and the fire service.
Due to the county's flat terrain and proximity to the continent, during the Second World War the military built many airfields here for RAF Bomber Command, RAF Fighter Command, and the allied USAAF. In recognition of this collaboration, the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial is located in Madingley. It is the only WWII burial ground in England for American servicemen who died during that event.
Most English counties have nicknames for their people, such as a "Tyke" from Yorkshire and a "Yellowbelly" from Lincolnshire. The traditional nicknames for people from Cambridgeshire are "Cambridgeshire Camel" or "Cambridgeshire Crane", referring to the wildfowl that were once abundant in the fens. The term "Fenners" was often applied to those who come from the flat country to the north of Cambridge. Since the late 20th century, this term is considered to be derogatory and has been discouraged in use.
Original historical documents relating to Cambridgeshire are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies.
Large areas of the county are extremely low-lying and Holme Fen is notable for being the UK's lowest physical point at 2.75 m (9 ft) below sea level. The highest point is in the village of Great Chishill at 146 m (480 ft) above sea level. Other prominent hills are Little Trees Hill and Wandlebury Hill (both at 74 m (243 ft)) in the Gog Magog Hills, Rivey Hill above Linton, Rowley's Hill and the Madingley Hills.
Cambridgeshire contains all its green belt around the city of Cambridge, extending to places such as Waterbeach, Lode, Duxford, Little & Great Abingdon and other communities a few miles away in nearby districts, to afford a protection from the conurbation. It was first drawn up in the 1950s.
Cambridgeshire contains seven Parliamentary constituencies:
|Constituency||Member of Parliament|
|North East Cambridgeshire||Stephen Barclay|
|North West Cambridgeshire||Shailesh Vara|
|South Cambridgeshire||Heidi Allen|
|South East Cambridgeshire||Lucy Frazer|
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Cambridgeshire at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of English Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
AWG plc is based in Huntingdon. The RAF has several stations in the Huntingdon and St Ives area. RAF Waterbeach, 6 miles north of Cambridge, is a former RAF airfield, now used as an army barracks. RAF Alconbury, 3 miles north of Huntingdon, is being reorganised after a period of obsolescence following the departure of the USAF, to be the focus of RAF/USAFE intelligence operations, with activities at Upwood and Molesworth being transferred there. Most of Cambridgeshire is agricultural. Close to Cambridge is the so-called Silicon Fen area of high-technology (electronics, computing and biotechnology) companies. ARM Limited is based in Cherry Hinton.
Cambridgeshire has a completely comprehensive education system with 12 independent schools and over 240 state schools, not including sixth form colleges.
Cambridgeshire is home to a number of institutes of higher education:
These are the settlements in Cambridgeshire with a town charter, city status or a population over 5,000; for a complete list of settlements see list of places in Cambridgeshire.
See the List of Cambridgeshire settlements by population page for more detail.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Cambridgeshire has a maritime temperate climate which is broadly similar to the rest of the United Kingdom, though it is drier than the UK average due to its low altitude and easterly location, the prevailing southwesterly winds having already deposited moisture on higher ground further west. Average winter temperatures are cooler than the English average, due to Cambridgeshire's inland location and relative nearness to continental Europe, which results in the moderating maritime influence being less strong. Snowfall is slightly more common than in western areas, due to the relative winter coolness and easterly winds bringing occasional snow from the North Sea. In summer temperatures are average or slightly above, due to less cloud cover. It reaches 25 °C (77 °F) on around 10 days each year, and is comparable to parts of Kent and East Anglia.
|Climate data for Cambridge 1971–2000 average|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.0
|Average low °C (°F)||1.3
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||45.0
|Source: Met Office|
Various forms of football have been popular in Cambridgeshire since medieval times at least. In 1579 one match played at Chesterton between townspeople and Cambridge University students ended in a violent brawl that led the Vice-Chancellor to issue a decree forbidding them to play "footeball” outside of college grounds. Despite this and other decrees, football continued to be popular. George Elwes Corrie, Master of Jesus College, observed in 1838, that while walking past a park named Parker's Piece he "saw some forty Gownsmen playing at football. The novelty and liveliness of the scene were amusing!" By 1839, Albert Pell was organising football matches at the university; because each town or school had different rules, students had to devise a compromise set of rules.
At Cambridge University in 1846, H. de Winton and J. C. Thring formed a pioneering football club. Only a few matches were played, but in 1848 interest in football increased and that year the Cambridge rules, the first attempt to codify a form of football were drawn up in Cambridge. The Cambridge rules are generally regarded as the main precursor of Association football.
As a result of its role in the formation of the first football rules, Parker's Piece remains hallowed turf for football fans and historians. In commemoration of the creation of Football; a statue is to be raised in the middle of the park where the game was invented.
Cambridgeshire is also the birthplace of bandy, now an IOC accepted sport. According to documents from 1813, Bury Fen Bandy Club was undefeated for 100 years. A member of the club, Charles Goodman Tebbutt, wrote down the first official rules in 1882. Tebbutt was instrumental in spreading the sport to many countries. Great Britain Bandy Federation is based in Cambridgeshire.
On 6–7 June 2015, the inaugural Tour of Cambridgeshire cycle race took place on closed roads across the county. The event was an official UCI qualification event, and consisted of a Time Trial on the 6th, and a Gran Fondo event on the 7th. The Gran Fondo event was open to the public, and over 6000 riders took part in the 128 km (80 mi) race.
|Accessible open space|
|Museum (free/not free)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cambridgeshire.|