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Top 10 Interesting Facts About Cambridge.

We love Cambridge! It’s a wonderful city with much to explore, and just when you think you know a place, you find out something new. There are lots of fascinating facts about Cambridge – here are our top ten things that you might not know about the city.

  1. Lord Byron kept a bear in his rooms when he was a student at Trinity College. Apparently he was annoyed by the rule that students were not allowed to keep dogs at the university so he went out and bought a bear instead!
  2. The settlement was originally called ‘Grantabrycge’ (bridge over the river Granta). The name was gradually changed to Cambridge.
  3. Interestingly, after the city had a new name, the name of the river was changed from Granta to Cam.
  4. People associated with Cambridge University have won 89 Nobel Prizes (well above Oxford’s 58!) And 29 of those are in physics.
  5. Oliver Cromwell’s head is buried in Cambridge in a secret location. He died in 1658 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, but when Charles II was restored to the throne three years later, he had his body exhumed and posthumously executed! Cromwell’s head was then displayed on a spike for almost 25 years until a storm broke it. The skull was passed through lots of private collectors and then eventually buried at a secret location in Cambridge in 1960.
  6. The university library has over 29 million books and receives a free copy of every book published in the UK.
  7. Football as we know it today has its origins in Cambridge. The first official game using the ‘Cambridge Rules’ was played on Parker’s Piece in 1848 – this formed the basis of the Football Association’s rules drawn up in 1863.
  8. The Mathematical Bridge (also known as the Wooden Bridge) is a wooden bridge that connects two parts of Queen’s College and was the first bridge built using mathematical principles. It is a popular myth that Sir Isaac Newton built it but he actually died 22 years before it was built! It was designed by William Etheridge and built by James Essex in 1749. It’s a very clever design which places the timbers in a series of tangents with radial members to tie the tangents together and create a self-supportive structure.
  9. In 1958, Cambridge engineering students managed to get an Austin Seven car on the roof of Senate House. It took the university a week to remove it.
  10. And finally a more modern fact, the city has a huge reputation and influence in the technology industry. It’s known as ‘Silicon Fen’ which draws on Silicon Valley and the fenland around the city of Cambridge. It is the centre for the technology industry in the UK with up to 3,000 tech and science businesses based here.

If you are thinking of moving to Cambridge, we hope this gives you a little insight into the city and its colourful history.