Cambridgeshire ( or ; abbreviated Cambs.) is an East Anglian county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the north-east, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west. The city of Cambridge is the county town. Modern Cambridgeshire was formed in 1974 as an amalgamation of the counties of Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely and Huntingdon and Peterborough, which had been created in 1965 from the historic counties of Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, the Isle of Ely and the Soke of Peterborough. It contains most of the region known as Silicon Fen.
- History 1
- Geography 2
- Politics 3
- Economy 4
- Primary and secondary 5.1
- Tertiary 5.2
- Settlements 6
- Climate 7
- Sports 8.1
- Contemporary Art 8.2
- Places of interest 9
- Famous people from Cambridgeshire 10
- See also 11
- References 12
- External links 13
Cambridgeshire is noted as the site of Flag Fen in Fengate, one of the earliest-known Neolithic permanent settlements in the United Kingdom, compared in importance to Balbridie in Aberdeen, Scotland. A great quantity of archaeological finds from the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age were made in East Cambridgeshire. Most items were found in Isleham.
Cambridgeshire was recorded in the Domesday Book as "Grantbridgeshire" (or rather Grentebrigescire) (related to the river Granta).
Covering a large part of East Anglia, Cambridgeshire today is the result of several local government unifications. In 1888 when county councils were introduced, separate councils were set up, following the traditional division of Cambridgeshire, for
- the area in the south around Cambridge, and
- the liberty of the Isle of Ely.
In 1965, these two administrative counties were merged to form Huntingdonshire with the Soke of Peterborough – previously a part of Northamptonshire which had its own county council). The resulting county was called simply Cambridgeshire.
Since 1998, the City of Peterborough has been a separately administered area, as a unitary authority. It is associated with Cambridgeshire for ceremonial purposes such as Lieutenancy, and functions such as policing and the fire service.
Due to the county's flat terrain and proximity to the continent, during the Second World War the military built many airfields here for RAF Bomber Command, RAF Fighter Command, and the allied USAAF. In recognition of this collaboration, the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial is located in Madingley. It is the only WWII burial ground in England for American servicemen who died during that event.
Most English counties have nicknames for their people, such as a "Tyke" from Yorkshire and a "Yellowbelly" from Lincolnshire. The traditional nicknames for people from Cambridgeshire are "Cambridgeshire Camel" or "Cambridgeshire Crane", referring to the wildfowl that were once abundant in the fens. The term "Fenners" was often applied to those who come from the flat country to the north of Cambridge. Since the late 20th century, this term is considered to be derogatory and has been discouraged in use.
Original historical documents relating to Cambridgeshire are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies.
- See also Geology of Cambridgeshire
Large areas of the county are extremely low-lying and Holme Fen is notable for being the UK's lowest physical point at 2.75 m (9 ft) below sea level. The highest point is in the village of Great Chishill at 146 m (480 ft) above sea level. Other prominent hills are Little Trees Hill and Wandlebury Hill in the Gog Magog Downs, Rivey Hill above Linton, Rowley's Hill and the Madingley Hills.
Cambridgeshire contains seven Parliamentary constituencies:
EconomyThis is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Cambridgeshire at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of English Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
Upwood and Molesworth being transferred there. Most of Cambridgeshire is agricultural. Close to Cambridge is the so-called Silicon Fen area of high-technology (electronics, computing and biotechnology) companies. ARM Limited is based in Cherry Hinton.
Primary and secondary
Cambridgeshire has a completely comprehensive education system with 12 independent schools and over 240 state schools, not including sixth form colleges.
Cambridgeshire is home to a number of institutes of higher education:
- The University of Cambridge - second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, and regarded as one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world
- Anglia Ruskin University - has a campus located in Cambridge and a base at Fulbourn
- The Open University - has a regional centre located in Cambridge
- The University Centre Peterborough - operated by Anglia Ruskin University and Peterborough Regional College, located in Peterborough
- The College of West Anglia has a campus at Milton, on the northern outskirts of Cambridge
These are the settlements in Cambridgeshire with a town charter, city status or a population over 5,000; for a complete list of settlements see list of places in Cambridgeshire.
- Peterborough (no longer part of the administrative county)
- St Ives
- St Neots
Cambridgeshire has seen 32,869 dwellings created from 2002-2013  and there are a further 35,360 planned new dwellings between now and 2023.
ClimateCambridgeshire has a maritime temperate climate which is broadly similar to the rest of the United Kingdom, though it is drier than the UK average due to its low altitude and easterly location, the prevailing southwesterly winds having already deposited moisture on higher ground further west. Average winter temperatures are cooler than the English average, due to Cambridgeshire's inland location and relative nearness to continental Europe, which results in the moderating maritime influence being less strong. Snowfall is slightly more common than in western areas, due to the relative winter coolness and easterly winds bringing occasional snow from the North Sea. In summer temperatures are average or slightly above, due to less cloud cover. It reaches 25°C on around 10 days each year, and is comparable to parts of Kent and East Anglia.
|Climate data for Cambridge 1971–2000 average|
|Average high °C (°F)||
|Average low °C (°F)||
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||
|Source: Met Office|
Association Football was invented in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire on what is now known as Parker's Piece in the middle of town. This is the earliest version of Association Football that has ever existed and the rules still exist today. Folklore dictates that there are 11 men on each team because when the game was invented, there were eleven trees on either side of Parker's Piece. In commemoration of the creation of Football; a statue is to be raised in the middle of the park where the game was invented. Despite this however, the "home" of football is said to be Wembley, London for two reasons. 1) It is in the capital city of England and 2) It is where England's national team play.
Cambridgeshire is the birthplace of bandy, now an IOC accepted sport. According to documents from 1813 Bury Fen Bandy Club was undefeated for 100 years. A member of the club, Charles Tebbutt, wrote down the first official rules in 1882. Tebbutt was instrumental in spreading the sport to many countries. Bandy Federation of England is based in Cambridgeshire.
On 6-7 June 2015, the inaugural Tour of Cambridgeshire cycle race took place on closed roads across the county. The event was an official UCI qualification event, and consisted of a Time Trial on the 6th, and a Gran Fondo event on the 7th. The Gran Fondo event was open to the public, and over 6000 riders took part in the 128km (83mile) race.
Places of interest
- Anglesey Abbey
- Brampton Wood
- Buckden Towers
- Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
- Cambridge University Museum of Zoology
- Castor Hanglands NNR
- Denny Abbey
- Devil's Dyke
- Down Field Windmill
- Duxford Chapel
- Duxford Airfield
- Elton Hall
- Ely Cathedral
- Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
- Flag Fen
- Fowlmere RSPB reserve
- Gamsey Wood Nature Reserve
- Gog Magog Downs
- Grafham Water Nature Reserve
- Great Gransden Post Mill
- Hereward Way
- Hinchingbrooke House
- Houghton Mill
- Icknield Way
- Imperial War Museum Duxford
- Kettle's Yard
- Kimbolton Castle
- Kings College, Cambridge
- Lattersey Nature Reserve
- Lode Watermill
- Nene Park
- Nene Valley Railway
- Nene Way
- New Bedford River
- Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum
- Old Bedford River
- Ouse Valley Way
- Ouse Washes
- Parker's Piece, Cambridge, birthplace of modern football
- Paxton Pits Nature Reserve
- Peckover House & Garden
- Peterborough Cathedral
- Prickwillow Drainage Engine Museum
- Ramsey Abbey
- River Cam
- River Great Ouse
- Round Church, Cambridge
- RSPB Nene Washes
- RSPB Ouse Washes
- Stretham Old Engine
- Three Shires Bridleway
- University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
- Wandlebury Country Park
- Wicken Fen
- Wimpole Hall
- Wisbech and March Bramley Line
- WWT Welney
- Wysing Arts Centre
Famous people from Cambridgeshire
As well as those born in the county there are many notable people from, or associated with, Cambridgeshire who moved there, particularly due to the presence of Cambridge University.
The area of today's Cambridgeshire lieutenancy may lay claim to famous men and women from two shires and a soke:
|Cambridgeshire||Huntingdonshire||Soke of Peterborough|
|Hereward the Wake, who resisted the Normans||Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, Prime Minister John Major, and businessman Henry Royce|
|Octavia Hill and Thomas Clarkson, and economist John Maynard Keynes.|
|Stephen Hawking, and Nobel laureate Harold Kroto, and||Brian J. Ford|
|Literary figures who hail from these shires include:|
|Jeffrey Archer, Douglas Adams, and Olaudah Equiano,||Samuel Pepys, Lucy M. Boston, and||John Clare|
|cartoonist Ronald Searle, comedian Rory McGrath,|
|Richard Attenborough, Jeremy Irvine and||Warwick Davis are all associated with film,||television presenter Sarah Cawood, and radio sports presenter Adrian Durham|
|while musicians include|
|Andrew Eldritch, lead singer of The Sisters of Mercy, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Bob Klose and Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett of Pink Floyd; Don Airey, keyboardist in the rock band Deep Purple, and Matt Bellamy||Paul Nicholas, Andy Bell, lead singer for Erasure; trombonist Don Lusher; Keith Palmer, of dance music band The Prodigy; singer Aston Merrygold of JLS; and the members of Britain's Got Talent Popera band The Arrangement|
|In athletics are,|
|Sir Jack Hobbs, Marty Scurll,||Joe Bugner||and Louis Smith|
|Richard Garriott, the video game entrepreneur leads a 'Silicon Fen' contingent from Cambridgeshire|
- List of Lord Lieutenants of Cambridgeshire
- List of High sheriffs of Cambridgeshire
- Custos Rotulorum of Cambridgeshire - Keepers of the Rolls for Cambridgeshire
- Cambridgeshire (UK Parliament constituency) - Historical list of MPs for Cambridgeshire constituency
- Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies
- Cambridgeshire local elections
- Healthcare in Cambridgeshire
- The Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely Order 1964 (SI 1964/366), see Local Government Commission for England (1958 - 1967), Report and Proposals for the East Midlands General Review Area (Report No.3), 31 July 1961 and Report and Proposals for the Lincolnshire and East Anglia General Review Area (Report No.9), 7 May 1965
- The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972 (SI 1972/2039) Part 5: County of Cambridgeshire
- The Cambridgeshire (City of Peterborough) (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996 (SI 1996/1878), see Local Government Commission for England (1992), Final Recommendations for the Future Local Government of Cambridgeshire, October 1994 and Final Recommendations on the Future Local Government of Basildon & Thurrock, Blackburn & Blackpool, Broxtowe, Gedling & Rushcliffe, Dartford & Gravesham, Gillingham & Rochester upon Medway, Exeter, Gloucester, Halton & Warrington, Huntingdonshire & Peterborough, Northampton, Norwich, Spelthorne and the Wrekin, December 1995
- Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
- includes hunting and forestry
- includes energy and construction
- includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
- Housing Development in Cambridgeshire 2013
- Dwelling Commitments in Cambridgeshire
- Cambridgeshire County Council
- Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network.
- Images of Cambridgeshire at the English Heritage Archive
- Cambridgeshire at DMOZ
- Cambridge Military History Blog
- The Flag Institute: Cambridgeshire