Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 55 miles (89 km) north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2021, the population of Cambridge was 145,700, with the built-up area partially in the neighbouring district of Cambridgeshire being approximately 175,000.[ 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, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.
The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209. The buildings of the university include King’s College Chapel, Cavendish Laboratory, and the Cambridge University Library, one of the largest legal deposit libraries in the world. The city’s skyline is dominated by several college buildings, along with the spire of the Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church, and the chimney of Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Anglia Ruskin University, which evolved from the Cambridge School of Art and the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, also has its main campus in the city.
Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology Silicon Fen, which contains industries such as software and bioscience and many start-up companies born out of the university. Over 40 per cent of the workforce have a higher education qualification, more than twice the national average. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, one of the largest biomedical research clusters in the world includes the headquarters of AstraZeneca, a hotel, and the relocated Royal Papworth Hospital.
The first game of association football took place at Parker’s Piece. The Strawberry Fair music and arts festival and Midsummer Fair are held on Midsummer Common, and the annual Cambridge Beer Festival takes place on Jesus Green. The city is adjacent to the M11 and A14 roads. Cambridge station is less than an hour from London King’s Cross railway station.