'inching around cambridge'
1" x 1" daily drawing challenge
'the backs, cambridge'
some residents of cambridge are so fond of the local cattle that only latin can do justice to their feelings.
“it gives a sense of rus in urbe, which means rusticity in town,” mused a cambridge university librarian.
the view from the backs across to king's college chapel is an iconic and unchanged one, it's easy to imagine hundreds of years ago former scholars contemplating an almost identical scene.
early settlers in what is now cambridge, built on a kind of gravelly island in a marshland about 50 miles northeast of london. areas too low and soggy for construction or farming, were set aside for shared use by locals, known as commoners, to graze livestock.
however, such commons began to come under siege about 400 years ago, as the gentry pushed to enclose more land into private properties.
in the area around cambridge, wealthy landowners hired a dutch engineer to drain the marshland for arable farmland, arousing resistance from locals who had depended on the wetlands for fishing, fowling and hunting.
an urban uprising!
in london and other towns, urbanization and industrialization eventually squeezed out the cattle. shame...
in cambridge the business of scholarship applied no such pressures and the cows held their ground. the urban herds became an emblem of the city’s distinction, like the white-robed boys’ choirs singing in the college chapels or the punts full of tipsy picnickers swarming in the river in the heat of summer.
i'd give my eye teeth to reside in a city steeped in such history and tradition... @cambridgeuniversity #cattle #commons
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