Castle Hill

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.

Castle Hill in 1575.  It still looks the same. We biked downhill from the Mound to the river and watched the boats go by and then turned South to get back home.

Castle Hill in 1575.
It still looks the same. We biked downhill from the Mound to the river. We stood on the bridge and watched the boats go by. Then turned South to get back home.

Castle Hill in 1730. Here you get a better pictureof the Motte

Castle Hill in 1730. Here you get a better picture of the Motte

Hello from the top of Castle Mound

Hello from the top of Castle Mound

My love and I

My love and I

Norah bug

Norah bug

exploring the top

exploring the top

Syds

Syds

From the top. Can you see Sydney running around at the bottom?

From the top. Can you see Sydney running around at the bottom?

View from the Motte. See our Church?

View from the Motte. See our Church?

No time for pictures.

No time for pictures.

Walking back down

Walking back down

Norah climbing a tree at the bottle of the mound

Norah climbing a tree at the bottle of the mound

Sydney in the tree

Sydney in the tree

Norah bug

Norah bug

My Sydney

My Sydney

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1 Comment

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One response to “Castle Hill

  1. Natasha

    Very fun! Being so close to all these historical features makes me a little jealous 🙂 Glad you’re taking advantage of them!

    Also, what a great picture of you and Rich in Mexico on the top of your blog. Really love it!

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