The area dates back in history to 3500 years ago as farmland, with settlements beginning around 1st Century BC.
Today, Cambridge is primarily known as a university town, and for its riverside boating and punting.
People Born in Cambridge
Cambridge in People's Lives
Isaac Newton: I attended Trinity College at Cambridge here beginning in June of 1661, at the age of 19, after being recommended by my uncle, a reverend. Upon entering the university, I was a subsizar, meaning that I payed for my tuition by performing valet duties for other, more well born students. However, I did so well in classes that I was soon recognized and given a scholarship in 1664, guaranteeing that I would be able to attend for four more years before recieving my Master's degree. An influential figure on campus, I revolutionized the school by opining that rather than simply relying on Aristotle (as was the school's custom), other writers such as Descartes, Galileo, and Johannes Kepler should also be studied. I wrote a notebook about mechanical philosophy, discovered the binomial theorem in 1665, and began to develop the idea of calculus. In 1665, shortly after I had obtained my bachelor's degree, the university was shut down due to the spread of the Black Plague. I returned to my mother's estate in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth. The university re-opened in 1667, and I happily returned, having spent the last two years making much progress on my studies of calculus, optics, and gravity. I was elected a Fellow a few months after returning. However, at the time, to become a university Fellow required that you be an ordained priest, which I was not and refused to become. I was able to skirt around this law, however, with special permission from King Charles II himself. In 1668, at the age of 26, I graduated with my Master's degree, but decided to remain here. I became a Lucasian professor, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1672. I continued to work on theories in science and mathematics, and was regarded as a genius by my peers. I published my famous Principia Mathematica in 1687, at the age of 45. I continued to study and discover countless theories and principles, mainly in mathematics and science, and became renowned as one of the genius minds of my times. I was elected a member of the Parliament of England for Cambridge University in 1689, a post I held (mainly on paper) until 1702, though my only comments and pieces of advice were to complain of the cold drought in my chambers here, and request that the windows be closed more tightly. I moved to London to accept the job of Warden of the Royal Mint in 1696. Though I never returned here to live again, I often visited, and retained close ties to my alma mater. I visited here in 1705, during a royal visit by Anne, Queen of Great Britain, to be knighted by the queen.
Mario Vargas Llosa: From 1976 - 1979, I often traveled here to speak. From 1977 - 1978, I was the Simon Bolivar professor at the University of Cambridge, and Overseas Fellow of Churchill College.
Thomas More: I was honored with the position of High Steward of the University of Cambridge around 1525.
William the Conqueror: I built Cambridge Castle here in 1068, in order to fortify England after my successful Norman Conquest.