[keym-brij-sheer, -sher]
Cambridgeshire, county (1991 pop. 640,700), 1,313 sq mi (3,402 sq km), E central England. The county seat is Cambridge. Most of the area is alluvial fenland, rising to the low, chalky East Anglian Hills in the south, with the Gogmagog Hills near Cambridge the most conspicuous feature. The main rivers are the Ouse, with its tributaries, and the Nene. Efforts to reclaim the fens date back to the days of Roman occupation, but in the subsequent periods of invasion by Danes, Saxons, and Normans they were abandoned. The fens were drained after the Dutchman Cornelius Vermuyden completed a vast drainage project in 1653. Agriculture and light industry are the dominant economic activities. Wheat, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, and fruits are raised. Food processing is an important industry as well as radio engineering and the manufacture of cement, bricks, and scientific instruments. The town of Ely has been an ecclesiastical center for centuries. The Univ. of Cambridge dates from the early 13th cent.
colspan="2" style="text-align: center; background: white;" - Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Region East of England
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 15th
3,389 km²
Ranked 15th
3,046 km²
Admin HQ Cambridge
ONS code 12
- Total ()
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.

/ km²
Ethnicity 94.6% White
2.6% S.Asian

Cambridgeshire County Council
Members of Parliament


  1. Cambridge
  2. South Cambridgeshire
  3. Huntingdonshire
  4. Fenland
  5. East Cambridgeshire
  6. Peterborough (Unitary)

Cambridgeshire (or, archaically, the County of Cambridge; abbreviated Cambs.) is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west. Modern Cambridgeshire was formed from the historic county of Cambridgeshire, together with the former county of Huntingdonshire, the Isle of Ely and the Soke of Peterborough; it contains most of the region known as Silicon Fen. The county town is Cambridge.

Cambridgeshire is twinned with Kreis Viersen in Germany.


Cambridgeshire is noted as the site of some of the earliest known Neolithic permanent settlement in the United Kingdom, along with sites at Fengate and Balbridie.

Cambridgeshire was recorded in the Domesday Book as "Grantbridgeshire" (or rather Grentebrigescire). Covering a large part of East Anglia, Cambridgeshire today is the product of several local government unifications. In 1888 when county councils were introduced, two were set up, following the traditional division of Cambridgeshire into the area in the south around Cambridge, and the liberty of the Isle of Ely. In 1965, these two administrative counties were merged to form Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. Under the Local Government Act 1972 this merged with the county to the west, Huntingdon and Peterborough (which had been created in 1965 by the merger of Huntingdonshire with the Soke of Peterborough - a part of Northamptonshire which had its own county council). The resulting county was called simply Cambridgeshire.

Since 1998 the City of Peterborough has been a separately administered area, as a unitary authority, but is associated with Cambridgeshire for ceremonial purposes such as Lieutenancy, and functions such as policing and the fire service.

In 2002, the conservation charity Plantlife unofficially designated Cambridgeshire's county flower as the Pasqueflower.

A great quantity of archaeological finds from the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age were made in East Cambridgeshire. Most items were found in Isleham.

The Cambridgeshire Regiment (or Fen Tigers) county based army unit fought in South Africa, WWI and WWII.

Due to its flat terrain and proximity to the continent, a large amount of RAF and USAAF bases were built for Bomber Command in WW2. In recognition of this, the only American WW2 burial ground in England is located in Madingley Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial. Most English counties have nicknames for people from that county, such as a Tyke from Yorkshire and a Yellowbelly from Lincolnshire; the traditional nickname for people from Cambridgeshire is 'Cambridgeshire Camel' or 'Cambridgeshire Crane', referring to the wildfowl which were once abundant in the fens.

Original historical documents relating to Cambridgeshire are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies.


Large areas of the county are extremely low-lying and Holme Fen is notable for being the UK's lowest physical point at 2.75 m (9 ft) below sea level. The highest point is in the village of Great Chishill at 146 m/480 ft above sea level. Other prominent hills are Little Trees Hill and Wandlebury Hill in the Gog Magog Downs, Rivey Hill above Linton, Rowley's Hill and the Madingley Hills.


This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Cambridgeshire at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of English Pounds Sterling.
Year Regional Gross Value Added Agriculture Industry Services
1995 5,896 228 1,646 4,022
2000 7,996 166 2,029 5,801
2003 10,154 207 2,195 7,752

AWG plc is based in Huntingdon. The RAF has a few bases in the Huntingdon and St Ives area. Most of Cambridgeshire is agricultural. Close to Cambridge is the so-called Silicon Fen area of high-technology (electronics, computing and biotechnology) companies. ARM Limited is based in Cherry Hinton.


Primary and Secondary

Cambridgeshire has a completely comprehensive education system with 12 independent schools and 29 state schools, not including sixth form colleges.


The University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and is regarded as one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world. One of the campuses of Anglia Ruskin University is located in Cambridge as is one of the regional centres of the Open University.


These are the settlements in Cambridgeshire with a town charter, city status or a population over 5,000; for a complete list of settlements see list of places in Cambridgeshire.

The town of Newmarket is surrounded on three sides by Cambridgeshire, being connected by a narrow strip of land to the rest of Suffolk.

Places of interest

Famous people from Cambridgeshire

As well as those born in the county there are many notable people from, or associated with, Cambridgeshire who moved there, particularly due to the presence of Cambridge University.

Cambridgeshire lays claim to Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, Prime Minister John Major, businessmen Henry Royce and Peter Boizot, social reformers Octavia Hill and Thomas Clarkson, and economist John Maynard Keynes. Scientists include Brian J. Ford and Stephen Hawking, and Nobel laureate Harold Kroto. John Clare, Samuel Pepys and Douglas Adams are all famous literary figures who hail from Cambridgeshire, as does Jeffrey Archer.

In entertainment, cartoonist Ronald Searle, comedian Rory McGrath, television presenter Sarah Cawood, and radio sports presenter Adrian Durham are all from Cambridgeshire. Paul Nicholas, Richard Attenborough and Warwick Davis are all associated with film, while musicians include Andrew Eldritch, lead singer of The Sisters of Mercy; Andy Bell, lead singer for Erasure; David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett of Pink Floyd; Don Airey, keyboardist in the rock band Deep Purple; trombonist Don Lusher; Keith Palmer, of dance music band The Prodigy; Nigel Sixsmith, founding member of The Art Of Sound and well known Keytar player; and Matt Bellamy. Athletes Joe Bugner, Sir Jack Hobbs, and Marty Scurll are also from the county.

Richard Garriott, televangelist Peter Foxhall, and Hereward the Wake are from Cambridgeshire.


See also

External links

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