Blue Plaques of Cambridge …. something to look out for

| August 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

Blue plaques of Cambridge (written by George Talbot of Step Into Cambridge)

Cambridge University’s streets have been walked by many famous scholars over the years. People who would go on to be heads of state, completely change the way we look at physics, challenge creationism, discover the meaning of life, lay the groundwork for the world’s deadliest weapons and most importantly of all invent the catflap (Isaac Newton)!

We want to introduce you to The Blue Plaque scheme, this council led system shows you where some of the greatest minds in the world rested at night and where their greatest achievements took place.

We, at Step Into Cambridge, have highlighted a couple of our favourites and provided a link to a map of every Blue Plaque in the City. After you’ve been on your historical walking tour with Step Into Cambridge use this map to explore Cambridge on your own and create your very own walking tour of Cambridge University.

The White Horse Inn

Cambridge is known for its secret societies, but the members of ‘Little Germany’ faced imprisonment and even death for their meetings. These brave scholars would meet in secret at The White Horse Inn back in 1521 to discuss the teachings of Martin Luther. Lutheranism, as it has become to be known, was the basis of the protestant reformation in England. In the strict catholic society in which the scholars lived discussing these ideas could result in imprisonment and even death. The Scholars, however, remained undetected and even went on to become figureheads of the reformation including the future Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, and the famous preacher Hugh Latimer. It has therefore been argued that ‘Little Germany’ was one of the birthplaces of the Protestant Reformation.

Francis Crick and James Watson’s discovery of the Double Helix

Although a controversial topic this is the site where the two budding scientists, one from the United States and the other Cambridge University, announced their discovery of the Double Helix. They stormed into The Eagle pub and declared ‘we have discovered the meaning of life!’. The controversy arises however as posthumously many have credited Rosalind Franklin with the original discovery of the Double Helix. Note that this plaque is the only one in Cambridge to have been defaced, with many students over time etching in Rosalind Franklin’s name to the plaque.

These are but two examples, but there are many many more to be found on your historical walking tour of Cambridge University. Simply follow this link and discover more about the history of Cambridge.

Alternatively, if you would like to book a walking tour of Cambridge University with Step Into Cambridge, please click here.

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Category: Facts and figures

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