Saturday Oct 18
We found a flyer in the mail the other day for an open day at Castle Hill. We had not yet explored that area of Cambridge and it sounded like a fun thing to do with the kids. Norah now has a little tag-along bike so she can ride behind Richard, making it that much easier to get around. Plus Norah loves it, and pretty much pushes Richard around town from behind. She looks so tiny riding behind Richard. Tiny and happy. She’s just so spunky and all in. Such a great little character.
North Cambridge is gorgeous! Cobblestone streets, lined with old stone buildings which hug the Northern entrance (into the city) of the River Cam where you can see more punters. This end is much more touristy and has guides punting the boats along the river explaining all the sites. I have no idea how far they go, but I can imagine they turn around somewhere near where we are (South Cambridge). We may have to take a tour sometime. It looks really relaxing (many of the people I observed were lounging in the boats with a drink in hand looking very content, listening to their guide). My kind of tour 😉
Castle Hill is the site of the original Cambridge settlement situated at what was then the head of the navigable River Cam (then the River Granta) which could be pre-Roman. However, it wasn’t until 1080 that William the Conqueror built Cambridge Castle (or now locally called Castle Mound) for defence – a very strategic spot, as it was an important route to the North of England.
The Castle was used off and on for centuries, being left to ruin and then refortified and added onto again, until 1647 when Parliament ordered it to be slighted (that means they blew up the most important parts, so it couldn’t be used again). The last time they worked on the Castle was for the English Civil Wars in 1642, by Oliver Cromwell. Now what’s left of the medieval castle are the 10m high Motte (which rests at the top of the highest point in the city and where we took the pictures from) and the surrounding earthworks. Here are some of our pictures and a couple pictures I took from Wiki.
The view from Castle Mound was stunning. We all had a lot of fun running around exploring, though there’s not much left of the castle itself except a large, steep hill with steps winding around to the top–and that fantastic view.