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Cambridge Castle

Visited April 2019

Location Cambridge
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby Yes- Cambridge
Parking Yes- Public Car Park
Facilities None








As you can see from the photos all that remains of Cambridge Castle is the motte. Which is a shame as this was once a huge and important site. It was situated to control the routes to the north of England. Its construction in 1068 required the demolition of the existing town of Grantabridge, as Cambridge was called at the time. The castle was then expanded over the next couple of centuries, with a large period of expansion under Edward I, who rebuilt it in stone. Edward's castle had four round towers with a gatehouse and a barbican. It was a modern defensive stronghold at the time.


That was certainly the highlight of its history, and soon after that it fell into disuse and the stone was robbed to build some of the college buildings in Cambridge. Despite being pressed back into service again for the Civil War it was allowed to fall once more into disrepair but remained in use as the city gaol until 1842. In the 1930s the Shire Hall, owned by the local council, was built in the bailey. The council are now due to move out of this building in the next few years and so the castle might once again see a change in its circumstances.





The motte today is all that is left of the castle, and it makes a good vantage point in a city that is almost entirely flat. The land is owned by the local council, so there is open access, but on the day we visited there was information at the top of the motte about a petition requesting the council ensure  that public access remains once they move out Shire Hall and lease the building out to new tenants. 





The motte does not take long to climb, so a visit here is very short. There are many other things to do in Cambridge, for example some beautiful college buildings to visit (seeing as that is where the stone from the castle went!)  but small children may not find that too riveting. They might enjoy a punt on the River Cam though, there are many boating stations to be found around the river.


As you would expect from a major tourist destination, there are numerous restaurants/cafes to choose from if you need somewhere to eat.



More info:  Cambridge Castle

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