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King's College Chapel seen from The Backs
Grid reference: TL450588
Location: 52°12’29"N, 0°7’23"E
Post town: Cambridge
Postcode: CB
Dialling code: 01223
Local Government
Council: Cambridge

The city of Cambridge is the county town of Cambridgeshire and its only major town. It is most famously a university city, home to the University of Cambridge. Cambridge is also at the heart of the high-technology region known as Silicon Fen.

Cambridge sits in southern Cambridgeshire, at the edge of the drained fenland. Its worldwide fame comes from the University of Cambridge, one of the world's premier universities. The city's skyline is dominated by the university's buildings; particularly towering Gothic triumph of King's College Chapel, St John's College Chapel and the more recent Cambridge University Library. The Cavendish Laboratory is renowned for its research.

The 2001 census gave the city's population as 108,863, which included 22,153 students. Cambridge is surrounded by many villages which between them add another 20,000 to its broader urban area.

Cambridge is very low-lying, its height between 20 and 80 feet above sea level. East Anglia west of Cambridge is flat too and the local legend oft told to visitors is that if one stands on the top of the tower of Great St Mary's then there is nothing higher until the Ural Mountains.

Cambridge has contrasting sides. On the outside there are many high-density suburbs. The city centre however is a place of itself, displaying university buildings and other historic buildings, shops, and large green areas such as Jesus Green, Parker's Piece, Christ's Pieces and Midsummer Common. Almost all of the town centre is owned by the various colleges of the University, the rent from which provides their income and whose stewardship maintains the fine appearance of the town.

Cambridge was granted its letters patent to become a city in 1951.

Cambridge in 1575

The River

Main article: River Cam

The River Cam flows through the city and gives its name to it. The river's alternative name is the "Granta", which is the name it bears upstream. (In an attempt at rationality, some say that it should be the Granta above Silver Street Bridge and the Cam below.) "Granta" was the river's original name and Cambridge itself was known as Grantanbrycg in Anglo-Saxon times.

Magdalene Bridge is the most ancient river-crossing in Cambridge; it was the location of a Roman Bridge. Magdalene Bridge or its predecessor is therefore the original "Cam Bridge" and may claim to be the only bridge in the British Isles to give its name to a county.

The Cam is very popular in the summer months for punting.

Panoramic photo gallery

Trinity Street
Silver Street



Outside links

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