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WHICH, during the Heptarchy, composed part of the kingdom of East Anglia, is bounded on the north-west by Northamptonshire; on the west by the counties of Huntingdon and Bedford; on the south by Hertfordshire and Essex; on the east by Suffolk; on the north-east by Norfolk; and on the north by Lincolnshire. Its greatest length is about 50 miles ; its greatest breadth, at the southern and widest extremity, is somewhat more than 25; its circumference is about 130. It contains nearly 443,300 acres, 17 hundreds, 165 parishes, 1 city, 8 market-towns, about 23,000 houses, and 130,000 inhabitants. The limits on the northern half are chiefly rivers, and their communicating branches; on the southern the boundaries are wholly artificial. It sends seven members to Parliament, viz. three for the county, two for the university, and two for the town of Cambridge; pays nine parts of the land-tax, and provides 480 men for the national militia. It is included in the Norfolk Circuit of the Judges.
The principal rivers of Cambridgeshire are the Ouse and the Granta or Cam. The Ouse enters the county between Fenny Drayton and Earith; thence it runs eastward through the fens, till, at some distance above Denny Abbey, it assumes a northerly direction, and passing Stretham, Ely, and Littleport,
flows into Norfolk. The Cam has three branches, the chief of which rises near Ashwell, in Hertfordshire, and enters this county to the west of Guilden Morden; thence flowing to the north-east, it receives several rivulets; and near Grantchester has its current enlarged by the united waters of its sister streams which flow into this county from Essex. Hence taking a northerly course, the Cam glides through the walks of the principal colleges at Cambridge, and, having passed several villages, falls into the Ouse at Harrimere, in the parish of Stretham.
Besides the above rivers, the channels of which appear to have been marked out by nature, there are numerous streams in the north part of Cambridgeshire, which were dictated by the conveniences, and formed by the industry of man. These intersect the county in various directions; and by carrying off the surplus waters of the fens, have been the means of bringing many thousand acres into cultivation. The chief drains are the old and new Bedford rivers, which are navigable for upwards of 20 miles, in a straight line across the county from Earith to Denver.
The county of Cambridge is chiefly flat and open. The churches being generally erected on the highest parts, may be distinguished at the distance of several miles. The south-eastern division, reaching from Gogmagog Hills to Newmarket, is bleak, heathy, and thinly inhabited; being connected with that vast tract of land, which, extending southwards into Essex, and northwards across Suffolk, into Norfolk,
forms one of the largest plains in the kingdom. The south and south-west parts of the county are more elevated than the rest, and thus form a contrast to the northern division.
The soil of Cambridgeshire is varied, consisting, about Wisbech, of a mixture of sand and clay; in the fens, of a strong black earth, lying on a galt or gravel; in the uplands, of chalk, gravel, loam, and tender clay. Inclosures are gradually taking place, new Acts of Parliament for that purpose being obtained from time to time. The application of the land is extremely various. In those parts which have been reclaimed from the floods, or are subject but to occasional overflows, it has all the fertility of watermeadows. The crops of oats are particularly exuberant; great quantities of wheat and cole-seed are also grown; while many thousand acres, particularly on the north-west side, are appropriated to pasture. Some very fine butter is produced in this county; and the vicinity of Cottenham is famous for a peculiar kind of cheese of very good flavour. The south and south-western parts are productive of wheat, barley, and oats; and the heaths and commons that intersect these districts, furnish sustenance also for many thousand sheep, chiefly of the Norfolk and West Country breeds. In some of the parishes bordering on Essex saffron is cultivated.
In the year 1824 a "Cambridgeshire Horticultural Society" was instituted. Prizes of silver medals and money are awarded for the finest fruits, flowers,
and vegetables, produced at stated times of the year; the funds arise from donations and annual subscriptions.
This county is celebrated for its botanical productions, an accurate account of which has been published by the late Rev. Richard Relhan, of King's College, under the title of "Flora Cantabrigiensis."
The following is a description of the principal towns, villages, and noblemen's and gentlemen's seats in the County:
BABRAHAM, six miles south-west of Cambridge, the seat of H. J. Adeane, Esq., is an elegant modern building, with a small but pleasant park.
At BOURN, near Caxton, is a large and interesting church, probably erected early in the thirteenth century. The seat of Earl Delawarr is a very tasteful specimen of a modern imitation of the Elizabethan style. Population, 767.
BURWELL is a very considerable village on the eastern side of the county, near Newmarket. The great attraction of Burwell is its church, which is built in the later gothic style; and for symmetry and good proportion, is scarcely exceeded by any village church in the kingdom. It was erected about twenty years after the foundation of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, and probably by some of the artificers who were employed in the construction of that fabric. The windows are of noble dimensions; and the tower is embrasured, and adorned with elegant pinnacles. The remains of an ancient castle are still standing, surrounded by a large fosse. The number of inhabitants is 1668.
CAXTON is situated on the Roman road on the western side of the county, about thirteen miles from Cambridge. Formerly a market was held here, but