Cambridge is home to the world-renowned University of Cambridge, which was founded in 1209.

The university includes King's College Chapel, Cavendish Laboratory, and the Cambridge University Library, one of the largest legal deposit libraries in the world.

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Archaeological evidence of occupation through the Iron Age is a settlement on Castle Hill from the 1st century BC, perhaps relating to wider cultural changes occurring in southeastern Britain linked to the arrival of the Belgae.) Duroliponte on Castle Hill, just northwest of the city centre around the location of the earlier British village.

The fort was bounded on two sides by the lines formed by the present Mount Pleasant, continuing across Huntingdon Road into Clare Street.

Like the rest of the newly conquered kingdom, Cambridge fell under the control of the King and his deputies.

The first town charter was granted by Henry I between 11.

In 1643 control of the town was given by Parliament to Oliver Cromwell, who had been educated at Sidney Sussex College.

The town's castle was fortified and garrisoned with troops and some bridges were destroyed to aid its defence.

The city's skyline is dominated by several college buildings, along with the spire of the Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church, the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital and St John's College Chapel tower.

Anglia Ruskin University, evolved from the Cambridge School of Art and the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, also has its main campus in the city.

Water was brought from Nine Wells, at the foot of the Gog Magog Hills, into the centre of the town.

Cambridge played a significant role in the early part of the English Civil War as it was the headquarters of the Eastern Counties Association, an organisation administering a regional East Anglian army, which became the mainstay of the Parliamentarian military effort before the formation of the New Model Army.

Although Royalist forces came within 2 miles (3 km) of the town in 1644, the defences were never used and the garrison was stood down the following year.