Cambridge Journals

Cambridge and Ely - weekend visit

An August 2004 trip to Cambridge by davidx

Quote: This was a birthday present from my son, and an excellent one at that. Neither of us had been to Ely before, and we had both only been to Cambridge with some definite non-tourist function to be dealt with. This time we could just look.

Cambridge and Ely - weekend visit

Overview

Quote:
Ely Cathedral is one of England’s finest. Its nave is a splendid example of Norman [Romanesque] architecture, whilst the chancel is the slightly later Early English [Early Gothic] with its narrow pointed arches. The central tower collapsed in the 14th century and was replaced by a unique feature, the cathedral’s chief glory – the octagonal ‘lantern.’ The house where Oliver Cromwell was born is also worth a visit. There is too much to see in Cambridge without a long visit. We went to King’s College, mainly for its wonderful chapel and to the superb Fitzwilliam Museum. Otherwise we concentrated on colleges which did not charge for entry. Misers!! Quick Tips: Train communication...Read More

Ely Cathedral

Attraction

Quote:
This cathedral charges for entry, but it would be a shame to miss it if you are in the vicinity, as it is one of England's best - which is saying a lot.

Everything seen on first entry is Norman [Romanesque] though the Lantern from the Decorated period can be discerned at the far end of the nave.

The prolongation from the nave onwards was originally all Early English [Early Gothic] but when the central tower fell in the 14th century, it was replaced by the Decorated [Middle Gothic] lantern.

The wood carving in the choir, whereas not the very best I have seen, is well worth some time.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 25, 2004

Ely Cathedral
The College
Cambridge, England CB7 4DL
+44 1353 667735

Oliver Cromwell's House (Ely Tourist Information Centre)

Attraction | "Oliver Cromwell's House, Ely"

Quote:
For those not quite with British history, Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector of England in the Commonwealth period after Charles I had been beheaded and before his son, Charles II, was restored to the throne.

The house is now used partly as a TIC, but the remaining part is particularly well arranged for school visits, etc. It shows something of the life of a rather puritanical family of the period, as well as providing a lot of information on Oliver, alive and dead.

He was buried in Westminster Abbey, but later his body was exhumed and the corpse was beheaded and stuck up for public view. It can hardly have been very recognisable!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 25, 2004

Oliver Cromwell's House (Ely Tourist Information Centre)
29 St Mary's Street
Cambridge, England CB7 4HF
+44 1353 662062

King's College Chapel

Attraction | "King's College"

Quote:
If you are only going to see one college at Cambridge, this should probably be the one to choose, if only for its superb chapel, a building all in the Perpendicular [Late Gothic] style with exquisite fan vaulting. This is the scene of the annual festival of Lessons and Carols broadcast on radio and TV on Christmas Eve. Henry VI, the founder of the college and its chapel, was not the fittest mentally of our kings, though this is barely mentioned in the historical displays. They do emphasise rightly that he was more esteemed in death than in life - regarded as a saint - and that his successors to the throne [at least one of whom must surely have been responsible for his murder] continued his...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 25, 2004

King's College Chapel
King's Parade
Cambridge, England CB2 1ST
+44 1223 331100

Trinity College

Attraction | "3 'free' colleges"

Quote:
Most colleges charge, understandably (but --), for admittance, but we found three that don't and they all had quads, gardens and chapels worth seeing.

Pembroke has particularly appealing gardens and its chapel was the first building of Sir Christopher Wren, later architect of St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Peterhouse and Trinity Hall also provided us with real pleasure and it would be nice to think there will always be somewhere in Cambridge that doesn't empty the pocket.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 25, 2004

Trinity College
Trinity Street
Cambridge, England CB2 1TQ
+44 1223 338400

Fitzwilliam Museum

Attraction

Quote:
This is a major University museum roughly comparable with the Ashmolean at Oxford. Many of the artefacts and pictures in its very extensive collection were obtained through bequests.

Among all the superb rooms we found two particularly exciting. One contained splendid pottery articles from the Roman period in Cyprus. The other was actually a temporary exhibition on for the next six weeks about collecting impressionist works for Cambridge. Monet, Pisarro, Degas and Renoir were among those represented.

There is no charge for admission. A donation of £3 is recommended but there is no pressure to pay it.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 25, 2004

Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, England CB2 1RB
+44 (1223) 332900

Backs

Attraction | "The Cam and the Backs"

Quote:
The Cam is quite a small river but a very active one. Not only were people hiring their own punts, but there were numerous large punts being steered by students full of trippers. No doubt it is a good way of seeing part of the city, but I think there is no substitute for walking among the delightful quads and gardens.

Some of the 'Backs, and bridges which lie in college grounds are very picturesque, but it could quickly become costly, and I found this more cause for resentment than being charged to see chapels and quads.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 25, 2004

Backs
Queens' Road
Cambridge, England CB3 9AH
+44 1223 322640