Visit Cambridge and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. The history of Cambridge began many hundreds of years before the first college, Peterhouse, was founded in 1284 by Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely. In the century preceding the Roman Conquest a Celtic settlement had arisen on what is known as Castle Hill, lying between Castle Street and Chesterton Road to the north of the town. At the foot of the hill was a ford across the River Cam, and successive Roman developments probably included the building of a bridge at this point. This bridge became the only one to have given its name to an English county. Its location was of great importance as marking the place where the Roman roads, in particular the Via Devana from Colchester to Chester, converged with the system of rivers and canals. As the northernmost point before reaching the fens such a site was of great strategic and commercial importance.
With the departure of the Romans the town continued to spread to its present position on the East Anglian side of the river. The Normans, however, rebuilt the castle and moved over to the opposite bank of the Cam. Nothing remains of the castle today but the mound. The 13th century saw the founding of the first Cambridge college and the consequent increase in the importance of the city as a seat of learning and a centre of communal life.
As the visitor will undoubtedly begin his tour with the University buildings, it is those which will be described first. A word on the possible origins of the University may not be out of place. In the 12th century students were still attached to the schools of the monasteries and cathedrals and the gradual development of universities in Italy and France was followed by the migration of scholars moving from one centre to another. Thus some went from Paris to Oxford in 1167, and in 1209 further groups went from Oxford to Cambridge. Several religious orders settled in Cambridge in the 12th century, and their houses attracted sufficient numbers of students for it to be recognized as a seat of learning by a writ for its governance made by Henry III in 1231.
In its early days the University used whatever accommodation was available, sometimes churches and on other occasions houses. The normal master's course was of seven years' duration and might sometimes be followed by a further ten years of study for a doctorate in theology. Students started earlier than now at the age of about 14 and generally completed their studies to become schoolmasters. The students at this time lived in lodgings in the town and due to the unsatisfactory conditions under which they had to exist, hostels in the care of one of the masters came into being. Such were the origins of the college system which prevails today.
Many of the colleges are on the main street (Trumpington Street, becoming King's Parade and then St John's Street) which runs parallel to the river between it and Market Hill.
Nearby airports: Stansted Airport
Nearby towns: Bedford, Bishop's Stortford, Ely, Haverhill, Huntingdon, Newmarket, Royston, Sandy,
Nearby villages: Babraham, Barrington, Burwell, Cherry Hinton, Comberton, Duxford, Fowlmere, Fulbourn, Harston, Haslingfield, Hauxton, Hinxton, Melbourn, Meldreth, Pampisford, Sawston, Shepreth, Teversham, Thriplow, Trumpington, Whittlesford
Have you decided to visit Cambridge or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Cambridge bed and breakfast (a Cambridge B&B or Cambridge b and b)
- a Cambridge guesthouse
- a Cambridge hotel (or motel)
- a Cambridge self-catering establishment, or
- other Cambridge accommodation