Cambridge (Map) - Framed Picture - 12" x 16"
Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire. 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 first town charters were granted in the 12th century.
Cambridge is home to the world-renowned University of Cambridge, which was founded in 1209, by students escaping from hostile townspeople in Oxford.
Settlements have existed around the Cambridge area since prehistoric times. The earliest clear evidence of occupation is the remains of a 3,500-year-old farmstead discovered at the site of Fitzwilliam College.
The principal Roman site is a small fort "Duroliponte" on Castle Hill, just northwest of the city centre around the location of the earlier British village. It was constructed around AD 70 and converted to civilian use around 50 years later.
Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain around 410, the location is usually identified as "Cair Grauth" listed among the 28 cities of Britain by the History of the Britons.
Evidence exists that the invading Anglo-Saxons had begun occupying the area by the end of the century. Their settlement became known as Grantebrycge ("Granta-bridge"). The settlement's name had later changed to "Cambridge" and the lower stretches of the Granta changed their name to match.
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 as a "little ruined city" containing the burial site of Etheldreda.
The arrival of the Vikings was recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 875. Viking rule, the Danelaw, had been imposed by 878. Their vigorous trading habits caused the town to grow rapidly.
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".
The first town charter was granted by Henry I between 1120 and 1131.
In 1349 Cambridge was affected by the Black Death.
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 charter transfers supervision of baking and brewing, weights and measures, and forestalling and regrating, from the town to the university.
Cambridge played a significant role in the early part of the English Civil War 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 railway came to Cambridge in 1845 after initial resistance, with the opening of the Great Eastern Railway's London to Norwich line. The station was outside the town centre following pressure from the university to restrict travel by undergraduates.[