Ely is a cathedral city located in the East Cambridgeshire, district of Cambridgeshire to 14 miles to the northeast of Cambridge. By virtue of being the seat of a diocese, Ely has been informally accounted a city. With a population of 15,102, Ely is the third smallest city in England and the sixth smallest in the United Kingdom.
Cambridgeshire is a county in England. The most popular of visit attraction is the Cambridge University with its much architectural beauty and historic beauty packed into so small a space, from the majestic elegance of Trinity College to King’s College Chapel, the buildings of Cambridge University are superb.
Around 17th century, before the Fens were drained they were marshland but then people get to colonize in this region. Ely was one of these settlements, and was named for the eels which swam in the shallow waters – in fact once used were used it as currency.
Probably its name derives from “eel” and “y” or “ey” means island, so an eel island. This may be true due to the position of Ely, which were historically very marshy and rich in eels. During the 11th century, eels were used to currency to pay their taxes by monks.
The origins of Ely lay in the foundation of an Abbey in 673AD under the protection of St. Ethelreda, daughter of King Anna. But the abbey was destroyed in 870 by Danish invaders and not rebuilt for over a hundred years.
The superb Norman cathedral is the Ely’s pride which rises above the flat countryside like a beacon. The Cathedral dominates the city centre and dates from 1081. In 1083 the cathedral was begun on the foundations of an earlier Saxon church. Around early 14th century the Norman tower collapsed and it is then that Alan of Walsingham designed a central tower that seems to float unsupported above the crossing of Ely Cathedral like a cloud.
Ely is on the River Great Ouse, which is a popular boating area. The Cambridge University rowing team has a boathouse on the bank of the river and train here for the annual Boat Race against Oxford University.
Ely has three primary schools with a recently achieved Business and Enterprise Specialist status of a community college. Also one of the oldest public schools is the King’s School in England. Nine play areas around the city including a skate park are in the city.
Ely is a growing primary retail and service centre for Cambridgeshire. The city is very attractive that retains many historical buildings with its winding shopping through fares. Also it offers a busy market on Thursday and craft market every Saturday, with Farmer’s market every third Saturday. There are a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels. Other attractions in Ely are the large modern library, the Ely Museum, and the former house of England’s Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell in the shadows of the cathedral. This has been restored and is now the Tourist Information Centre.
The city has a regular bus services to most local villages and towns. Ely railway station is a major train hub with direct trains to Cambridge, London, and the rest of East Anglia, the Midlands and the North-West.