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Cambridge as a city has a history that dates back over two thousand years. The first settlement is that of a Belgic tribe which settled in the modern day Castle Hill area in the first century BC. The Romans followed, building a fort in the same area in the first century AD. But it was not until the Saxon times (5th-11th century) that the Cambridge of today really came into being.


Cambridge developed as a market town and the river Cam was a vital part of the local economy.  The Cam Bridge once stood here, and it was the Roman road linking East Anglia with the Midlands and the only crossing point over the river for many miles.


The delta of the Thames was marshy and did not allow ships to enter all the way to London.  In the Middle Ages, merchants and pilgrims would travel north to the seaport of King’s Lynn and then punt their way to Cambridge to then head to London and other cities.


University of Cambridge


The University itself was established much later in about 1209 when a group of scholars fled from Oxford, one of them having murdered a townswoman, and chose Cambridge as their new place of learning. Cambridge was already a wealthy city and offered potential funding opportunities.


The University of Cambridge is a collegiate university. This system is very rare.  Only Oxford and Cambridge, and partly St. Andrews have it.  This means that the University is divided into 31 colleges, which are in charge of student affairs, including accommodation, catering, pastoral needs and individual tutoring. Even if originally colleges were divided by subject, now almost every college offers students with the chance of taking any subject.


The university takes care of all academic needs, including teaching, supervisions, examinations and laboratories.