Town & City Historic Maps
University and County Town
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Cambridge is well known as a university town, and is also the county town of Cambridgeshire. Its roots are essentially Roman, with a settlement on the hill later occupied by Cambridge Castle. The town received a charter in the early 12th century and its first students in what became Cambridge University arrived from Oxford in the early 13th. In 1284, the earliest of its colleges, Peterhouse, was founded, and the university and its constituent colleges began to dominate the built form of the city. Still a small place in the 18th century, the coming of the railways in the 19th began its transformation into a large and prosperous place. It became a city in 1951.
Since the publication of the British Historic Towns Atlas Volume on Cambridge in the 1970s, much work has been done by historians and archaeologists to understand the development of the town. We are now working on a project to produce a new historical map of Cambridge to reflect that increase in understanding.
The map will cover the historic core of the city, from Grange Road in the west to the new suburb of Petersfield and the station in the east, the castle site in the north to the Botanic Garden in the south.
The map will be researched and produced by a team led by Tony Kirby. It will be published in June 2023, and has been made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor.
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