Is Cambridge a City? (Solved & Explained)

I was born in Cambridge, England. And as far as I am concerned, it is a city. But others have argued that Cambridge isn’t actually a city. It doesn’t have the population, density or industry to justify being called one. So what is the verdict? Is Cambridge a city or not? 

Let’s settle this debate once and for all. In this blog post, I will explore what makes Cambridge a city, analyse its history, and why it is so famous. I will also examine why some people believe Cambridge doesn’t meet the criteria to be called a city.

Finally, we will come to a conclusion based on all of the evidence.

Let’s get started!

What is a City, According to the Dictionary?

The first step in answering this question is to define what a city actually is. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a city as “an urban area that includes residential districts, commercial districts, and cultural institutions.” Essentially, a city is a large and densely populated urban area. It is typically home to a mix of residential, commercial, and cultural buildings and institutions

What Are The Requirements for a City in The UK?

In the UK, there is no formal definition of a city. However, specific requirements must be met for an urban area to be given city status. These requirements were outlined in a document called “The Framework for the Future of Cities”, published by the government in 2012. According to this document, an urban area can be classified as a city if it meets one of the following criteria:

  1. It has a cathedral
  2. It has a population of more than 300,000
  3. It has a royal charter

Does Cambridge Meet the Requirements for City Status in The UK?

Now that we know what a city is and the requirements for city status in the UK, let’s see if Cambridge meets them.

First, we’ll look at the population criterion. According to the latest census data, the population of Cambridge is 145.000. This falls well short of the 300,000 population requirement.

Next, let’s look at the criterion of having a cathedral. Cambridge does not have a cathedral. Traditionally a prerequisite for city status, instead falling within the Church of England Diocese of Ely.

Last, we’ll look at the criterion of having a royal charter. Cambridge was granted its city charter in 1951 to recognise its history and importance.

Is Cambridge a City?

Cambridge, city (district), administrative and historic county of Cambridgeshire, England, home of the internationally known University of Cambridge.

In recognition of its history, administrative significance, and economic success, Cambridge acquired city status only in 1951. Once again, this was bestowed by a Royal Charter. The monarch who granted it was George VI, father of the regretted Queen Elizabeth II, and the bells of Great St Mary’s church were rung in celebration.

So, based on the evidence above, it is clear that Cambridge is a city. It meets one of the three criteria required for city status in the UK and has been granted a city charter.

Cambridge was just another English town until it burst rapidly due to increased longevity and greater agricultural production, resulting in a surge in town trade.

Does Cambridge Have a Cathedral?

Although many cities have cathedrals, Cambridge falls within the Church of England Diocese of Ely and does not have a cathedral.

The History of Cambridge

The Romans first established a settlement in Cambridgeshire, but the modern city of Cambridge dates back to 875 when the Danes conquered Eastern England. They constructed a fortified town called burgh – which is where we get the term borough.

Cambridge quickly grew in importance and became one of the most important cities in England. It was home to many important institutions, including the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s oldest universities. The city also played a significant role in the English Civil War.

Today, Cambridge is a major cultural and educational centre and is home to some of the most prestigious institutions in the country. The University of Cambridge is now home to over 20,000 students and is one of the most respected universities in the world. The city also has a thriving economy and is home to several high-tech businesses.

Why is Cambridge a City Without a Cathedral?

As I explained before, if a city has been granted city status by the monarch, it doesn’t need to have a cathedral. So in Cambridge’s case, a cathedral is not a prerequisite to getting a city status.

This doesn’t mean that Cambridge doesn’t have any beautiful churches – far from it! The city has many beautiful churches, including the Round Church, one of Cambridge’s oldest churches.

Why is Cambridge City so Famous?

Is Cambridge a City?

Cambridge is probably best known for the University of Cambridge, which lends the place undeniable energy. There are 31 colleges which make up the iconic institution, probably representing about half of all the buildings in the city centre.

If you want to explore them, we recommend you join one of the several walking tours on offer. The colleges are incredibly varied in style – from the grandeur of King’s College Chapel to the quirky beauty of Queens’ Old Court.

There’s also a vast amount to see beyond the colleges. There are world-renowned museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettle’s Yard and the Polar Museum. If you’re interested in art, make sure to check out all the galleries Cambridge has to offer.

Moreover, some famous names associated with Cambridge are:

– Isaac Newton, one of the most famous scientists in history, was a student at the University of Cambridge.

– Charles Darwin, another famous scientist, was also a student at the University of Cambridge.

– Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician and computer scientist who worked at the University of Cambridge.

For something a bit different, why not explore one of the city’s many parks or take a punt down the river?

Besides being home to one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, Cambridge is also famous for its picturesque setting. The city is on the River Cam, which runs through the town centre. This makes it a popular destination for tourists who want to enjoy the scenery and relax in the many cafes and pubs lining the river.

Comparison with other cities in the UK

Although Oxford is the most famous university city in the UK, Cambridge is actually ranked higher on international league tables. Both cities are doing well in terms of jobs and economy, but Cambridge has a higher proportion of high-tech businesses.

In terms of culture, both cities have a lot to offer. However, Cambridge probably has the edge regarding museums and galleries.

Cambridge cost of living

The cost of living in Cambridge is relatively high, especially compared to other UK cities. This is mainly due to the high costs of housing and transportation.

Housing is by far the most significant expense for residents of Cambridge. The average price for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is around £1,500 per month.

Why do Some People Believe Cambridge Doesn’t Meet the Criteria to be Called a City?

After a few hours of research if found a few reasons why some people believe that Cambridge doesn’t meet the criteria to be called a city:

  1. It doesn’t have a cathedral.
  2. It’s not located on a significant body of water like other cities such as London and Bristol.
  3. Its population is relatively small when compared to other cities in the UK.

Our conclusion

So the question of this article must end: is Cambridge a city? I demonstrated that it meets one criterion to be called a city, and thus we can confidently say that Cambridge is a city.

Cambridge is a city that has many aspects to it – from its prestigious university to its thriving economy and its beautiful churches. The city is also known for its scenic setting on the River Cam. Cambridge is a popular tourist destination for people who want to enjoy all the city offers.

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