Cambridge Castle

Cambridge is not well known for its fortification and it shouldn’t be. The castle here is long gone with bare marks on the ground where the earthworks used to be. Yet, visiting this site should be part of the regular Cambridge tour as I discovered on one of my recent forays into that city. Indeed, though I’ve been to the university town numerous times this was the first time for me to wander into the old castle “complex”, a term which I use loosely for the structures that originally dated from the Conqueror’s time.

It was two years after the Conquest when this structure was began, along with the classic motte and bailey type earthworks assembled. One can, however, clearly appreciate the benefit of the location when visiting the Castle Hill as the views are, simply put, commanding in every direction. The River Cam is not too far either and would have probably spanned a wider course in earlier times although this is wide conjecture based on my knowledge of other East Anglian rivers in Roman times. I guess that gathering some evidence was too time-consuming while I was writing…

The Castle Hill

The above image highlights nearly everything that is there to see, I must say. Nevertheless, the view that greets the enthusiastic climber (the steps are actually very good and there is barely a chance of falling down) is amazing though the greyness of the day I was there precludes me from having got any good photos from the top of that hill.

I will end this post with a note that apparently the stones used in the construction of the castle were later re-used by the locals for other purposes, including the construction of colleges in Cambridge. This sentiment, though probably not intentional on the part of the good folk of Cambridge, is still iconic of the “swords into ploughshares” thought-movement…

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