The History of Cambridge City Part 1;The Beginning

Most people when they think of Cambridge City associate it with the Universities which have become such an important part of Cambridge, however fewer people realise the Cambridge has a history extending back to the Romans, long before any Universities were built.

There is evidence of pre-roman activity in Cambridge; however the Romans were responsible for building the first town, located to the north of the river on Castle Hill.

Cambridge originally was built as a port and during Anglo Saxon times had established good trading links to the continent and a market and become very prosperous.

St Peter’s Church still has pieces of Roman tiles in the walls and evidence of the Anglo Saxons can be seen at the oldest surviving building in Cambridge the Tower of St Benedict’s Church.

Cambridge even has visible links with The Knights Templar, made famous in recent years by books by Dan Brown and the ensuing film release. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of only four circular Norman churches in the whole of England.

Cambridge has seen a change in names over the years, there is no record of the Romans name for the town, and the earliest records are from the Saxons which was Grantabrycge, then changing to Grentebrige or Cantebrigge. It was at this point that the river flowing through Cambridge was renamed from The River Granta to the river Cam.

The first recorded date relating to Cambridge University was in 1209.

Look out for The History of Cambridge City Part 2; The Expansion of Education, to be released soon.

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Article written by Katie Fairburn manager of Belvoir Lettings Agency Cambridge  She can be contacted on 01223 352225 or