The History of Cambridge University: 6 Fun Facts You Should Know

Have you ever wondered what could hide behind one of the oldest universities in the world? Cambridge is like an ancient treasure box that hides plenty of mysteries. Many may think that it is a boring and strict place. However, it’s far from being true. This university isn’t just about disciplined students and studying hard. 

Such facts as its graduates having more than 30 Nobel Prizes in physics alone won’t surprise anyone. But the university also has its intriguing side, full of fun and adventures. 

Curious about finding out new shocking facts? Let’s unravel some incredibly fun things about Cambridge university! 

The Gravity Theory 

We all know how Sir Isaac Newton discovered the presence of gravity while sitting under a tree in his homeland of Lincolnshire. But he didn’t do all the work himself, still sitting under that tree. Instead, he packed his stuff and went to Cambridge. It’s exactly where he started learning more about gravity and sharing his views with others. It was the place where he pursued his scientific goals.

Newton worked days and nights on his project. In the end, the theory of gravity was concluded at the University of Cambridge. The scientist also wrote his paper on the subject in 1687 at this place.

It’s insane to even think about how lucky modern students are nowadays. With dissertation writing help from experts, college tasks become easier to succeed in. All you need to do is delegate your project to the right specialist.

But back then, students could rely on themselves only.

Creepy Tale of Oliver’s Head 

The head of Oliver Cromwell somehow ended up in Cambridge! In case you wonder, he was one of the most important figures in England, the Lord Protector and ruler of the English Commonwealth. 

When Charles II ascended to the throne three years after his death in 1658 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, he ordered the body’s exhumation. Then, for over 25 years, Cromwell’s head was on display until a storm shattered it. 

The skull was acquired by a number of private collectors and finally placed in the cavernous cave of Cambridge university in the 20th century. 

Football Rules

They always enjoyed playing football in Cambridge. But could you imagine that the University of Cambridge significantly influenced the majority of modern football rules? 

Yes, this is where the game of football took its roots. The first match used the “Cambridge Rules,” and they played it on Parker’s Piece in 1848. Based on this game, the Football Association drafted the rules in 1863. 

Gigantic Library

The Cambridge Library is so big that it comprises over 3,00,000 volumes of books and manuscripts. But here is the crazy part: most documents have been stored there since the 13th century. 

This university’s library stands out from any other library in the world. It’s not only one of the most magnificent and aesthetic spots to visit; you can practically find any British book there. Moreover, the Cambridge Library is home to Charles Darwin’s papers and the original manuscript of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh.

Pet Rebellion

The following incident can remain a funny memory of the University of Cambridge for many years. This fun fact is about Lord Byron and his big desire to keep a pet dog in his dorm room. According to the rules, dogs are prohibited in the dorm, but Lord Byron was obviously revolting against this regulation. 

So, what he did will shock you. Instead of adopting a dog, the student brought a pet bear. And the pet was actually tolerated. 

Own Press

Another thing that makes Cambridge University stand out among others is its own press. Cambridge University Press is the world’s oldest publishing firm. Currently, it is the publisher of more than 400 academic journals, monographs, and other works covering a variety of subjects. 

In 1999, Cambridge University Press even launched Cambridge dictionaries online, making them available to everyone worldwide. 


The University of Cambridge remains quite conservative. But even though this place has a long, boring history, there are still facts that can blow our minds. Cambridge has gone through many decades filled with stories. It hosted thousands of different students who had a tangible impact on the present-day world. Just imagine how many more secrets this university can store.

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