Cambridge is a prestigious centre of academia and a beautiful place to live and study. The world-famous University of Cambridge is over 800 years old, and has been home to some of the most respected authors, scientists, thinkers, and even royalty. The city boasts some of the country’s finest architecture, art galleries and museums, as well as a vibrant theatre scene. Running through it is the River Cam: colleges glimpsed from the banks of the Backs, students punting along the water, and rowers practicing at high speed, are all part of the Cambridge experience.
A Brief History of Cambridge
Before the University – The Romans were first to build a town in Cambridge. It was a convenient crossing point for the River Granta now known as the River Cam. Throughout Anglo-Saxon and Norman times, settlements tended to centre on what is now known as Castle Hill‚ for its fortification potential.
The University – It was in 1209 that scholars, taking refuge from hostile townsmen in Oxford, settled in Cambridge. Students soon flocked to Cambridge, although in its early years, these were largely clerks or clergymen in holy orders of some sort. It was not until 1284 that the first Cambridge College (of which there are now 31), Peterhouse, was founded. Colleges sprang up in the centuries to follow‚ the result of benefactions from donors including King Henry VIII.
Famous Scholars – In 1627, a clergyman by the name of John Harvard entered Cambridge, before emigrating to America in 1638 and founding Harvard University. Numerous other influential scholars have passed through Cambridge: Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron and Lord Tennyson, several signatories of the American Declaration of Independence, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, F.R. Leavis, John Maynard Keynes, Crick & Watson, Sylvia Plath, Frederick Sanger, Ted Hughes and Stephen Hawking to name but a few!
All Reach Cambridge students have the opportunity to live and study in this inspiring environment, walking in the footsteps of great men and women who have changed the way we see the world.