This afternoon, I am reporting on Ely which is located in the Fens, north of Cambridge. Population is about 20,000. This city was founded in the 7th century by Etheldreda, a Northumbrian Queen and later became famous as site of the last (unsuccessful) stand by Hereward the Wake against William the Conqueror in the 11th century.
The name translates as 'district where eels are to be found'.
Benefiting from its relatively remote location Ely has retained a good number of medieval and Tudor buildings.London, with which there are road and rail links, is 80 miles to the south.
Main attraction is the 14th century Cathedral, a gothic design by local monk Alan de Walsingham. The building features an octagonal tower which stands prominently on the local landscape.
Other places of interest include:
- Pubs and restaurants on the River Ouse which lazily winds close to the town.
- A stained glass museum.
- Local history museum.
- A house once owned by Oliver Cromwell, a prominent figure in English history which doubles as the Tourist Information Centre.
- A nature reserve at nearby Wicken.