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Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age.
The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.
For other uses, see Cambridge (disambiguation).-brij) is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of London.
At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867, including 24,488 students.
In 1382 a revised town charter effects a "diminution of the liberties that the community had enjoyed", due to Cambridge's participation in the Peasants' Revolt.
Although Royalist forces came within 2 miles (3 km) of the town in 1644, the defences were never used and the garrison was stood down the following year.
In the 19th century, in common with many other English towns, Cambridge expanded rapidly, due in part to increased life expectancy and improved agricultural production leading to increased trade in town markets.
By the 7th century, the town was less significant and described by Bede as a "little ruined city" containing the burial site of Etheldreda.
Their vigorous trading habits caused the town to grow rapidly.
Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology Silicon Fen with industries such as software and bioscience and many start-up companies born out of the university.