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Cambridge History, United Kingdom

Cambridge, UK - History: Saga Of Widening Horizons

Libraries, chapels, colleges and alleyways! Every stone engraved in Cambridge has a unique tale to tell. The Coat of arms, the first building of Christopher Wren, the Hills Road and even the Roman legions speak volumes regarding the classic and unbeatable history lived by this city.

Cambridge, one of the largest towns of the eastern England, has its history replete with the landmarks of Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings and the Normans. The native Parish names like St. Bene’t and St. Clement reflect the Christian culture. Slowly, the locus of the town drifted to the bustling market area during the eleventh century and population scoring to be around 1,600.

During the 13th century, there was tremendous growth. Cambridge was declared as a royal borough by King John in 1209. Midsummer Common became a crowd-pulling destination for regular fairs while the establishment of a merchant guild took place, simultaneously. The wharf trade enhanced with increase in export.

In 1284, the first college, which later was called as Peterhouse, was founded by Hugh de Balsham. Hugh was the Bishop of Fly. During the next 70 years, around seven more colleges got established. Slowly, Camridge turned out to be a centre of the ongoing English reformation. It was, at times, also referred to as “Little Germany”. Later, in the year 1640, Oliver Cromwell was returned to the Parliament by Cambridge. In spite of being a frantic supporter of the parliament during the English Civil War, the town was never converted into a battleground.

Later, in the 1667, with the 27 year old, Isaac Newton taking the seat of the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, the town got introduced to the world’s greatest mind, till date. After the late 70’s, the male chauvinism in terms of education got implemented with women getting qualified for the university membership.

The arrival of the railways spelt the termination of the riverside wharves. After the 20th century, it was believed that the gown and the town have learnt the art of working together. King George VI endowed Cambridge as a city status in 1951. Villages of Girton, Trumpington and Cherry Hinton got influenced by the suburban’s lifestyles, with the M11 Motorway linking them to London. At the same time, stupendous development in scientific discoveries took place. Microsoft, Phillips, Arm and other hi-tech companies arrived in the town.

Thus, the history of Cambridge is an enticing saga of growth, discoveries and widening horizons.

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