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Ely

Ely

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For other places with the same name, see Ely (disambiguation).
Ely
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Statistics
Population: 15,102
Ordnance Survey
OS grid reference:TL535799
Administration
District: East Cambridgeshire
Shire county: Cambridgeshire
Region: East of England
Constituent country:England
Sovereign state:United Kingdom
Other
Ceremonial county: Cambridgeshire
Historic county: Cambridgeshire
Services
Police force:
Fire and rescue: {{{Fire}}}
Ambulance:East of England
Post office and telephone
Post town: ELY
Postal district: CB6, CB7
Dialling code: 01353
Politics
UK Parliament:
European Parliament: East of England
Image:Flag of England.svg

Ely (pronounced ['iːli], rhyming with "freely") is a cathedral city in the East Cambridgeshire district of Cambridgeshire in the East of England and 64 miles (103 km) east north-east of Charing Cross in London.

Ely has been informally accounted a city by virtue of being the seat of a diocese, its status was confirmed by Royal charter in 1974; at that time the parish council was formed during a reorganisation of local government. With a population of 15,102 in 2001, Ely is the third smallest city in England (after Wells (Somerset) and the City of London) and the sixth smallest in the United Kingdom (with St David's, Bangor, and Armagh also smaller).

The city is very attractive retaining many historic buildings. There is a market on Thursday and Saturday each week. Ely is on the River Great Ouse and was a significant port until the 18th century. The River is a popular boating area with a large marina. The University of Cambridge rowing team have a boathouse on the bank of the river and train here for the annual Boat Race against Oxford University. The 1944 Boat Race was raced on the River Great Ouse near Ely, the only time it has not been held on the River Thames.

Ely railway station, situated on the Fen Line, is a major train hub with direct trains to Cambridge, London King's Cross, London Liverpool Street, Stansted Airport, King's Lynn, Ipswich, March, Peterborough, Nottingham, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Thetford and Norwich.

Main article: Diocese of Ely.

Ely is the nearest cathedral city to Cambridge. Cambridge does not have its own cathedral and is within the Diocese of Ely. The diocese covers 1507 square miles and holds 610,000 people (1995) and 341 churches; it includes the county of Cambridgeshire (except for three parishes in the south which are in the diocese of Chelmsford) the western part of Norfolk, a few parishes in Peterborough and Essex and one in Bedfordshire.

[edit] History

It is said that Ely derives its name from 'eel' and '-y' or '-ey' meaning island, i.e. an island where there were a lot of eels. This may be true due to the position of Ely, an island in low lying fens, which were historically very marshy and rich in eels.

The city's origins lay in the foundation of an abbey in 673, a mile to the north of the village of Cratendune on the Isle of Ely, under the protection of Saint Ethelreda, daughter of King Anna. The abbey was destroyed in 870 by Danish invaders and not rebuilt for over a hundred years. The site was one of the last holdouts in England to the rule of William I: Hereward the Wake did not surrender until 1071.

Main article Ely Cathedral.

The magnificent cathedral of Ely, the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, is known as the "Ship of the Fens" for the distant views of its towers that dominate the low-lying wetlands called the Fens. The diocese of Ely was created in 1108, out of the see of Lincoln. The cathedral was started by William I in 1083 and completed in 1351, despite the collapse of the main tower in 1322, which was rebuilt as an octagonal tower. The bishopric of Ely was founded in 1109. The city took part in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381.

Oliver Cromwell lived in Ely for several years after inheriting the position of local tax collector in 1636. His former home dates to the 16th century and is now used by the Tourist Information Office as well as being a museum with rooms displayed as they would have been in Cromwell's time.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links


 
Places with City status in England
Image:Flag of England.svg
Bath | Birmingham | Bradford | Brighton & Hove | Bristol | Cambridge | Canterbury | Carlisle | Chester | Chichester | Coventry | Derby | Durham | Ely | Exeter | Gloucester | Hereford | Kingston upon Hull | Lancaster | Leeds | Leicester | Lichfield | Lincoln | Liverpool | London (City of London and Westminster) | Manchester | Newcastle upon Tyne | Norwich | Nottingham | Oxford | Peterborough | Plymouth | Portsmouth | Preston | Ripon | Saint Albans | Salford | Salisbury | Sheffield | Southampton | Stoke-on-Trent | Sunderland | Truro | Wakefield | Wells | Winchester | Wolverhampton | Worcester | York
de:Ely

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Ely

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