By HOLLAR, Wenceslaus , 1643


British Isles
  • Author: HOLLAR, Wenceslaus
  • Publication date: ?[c1643].
  • Physical description: Etched view, trimmed to neatline, margins extended.
  • Dimensions: 262 by 285mm. (10.25 by 11.25 inches). Plate size: 252 by 271mm.
  • Inventory reference: 18355


Hollar made the present print of Cambridge during the Civil War, when the city was headquarters to the Eastern Counties Association, an organisation administering a regional East Anglian army, which became the mainstay of the Parliamentarian military effort before the formation of the New Model Army. In 1643, while King Charles I was based in Oxford, control of Cambridge was given by Parliament to Oliver Cromwell, who had been educated at Sidney Sussex College.

The view is oriented to the west and spans central Cambridge from the northern parts of Grantchester in the south across the university city to Castle Mound in the north, which like its counterpart in Oxford was constructed after the Norman conquest and became used as a jail during and following the English Civil War. The isometric view encompasses Cambridge’s many impressive buildings, as well as the surrounding fields. A key in the upper right-hand corner identifies most of the significant structures and sites including the university colleges, churches, markets and bridges.

In the upper left-hand corner is a map of Cambridgeshire, with parts of the surrounding counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire also shown. Along the upper border of the main view are also “the armes of such princes and noblemen as have borne the titles of the earldome of Cambridge”, as well as the University Arms and a shield showing St. John’s College’s famous New Bridge, now commonly known as the Bridge of Sighs. In the left- and right-hand margins of the print there are twenty coats of arms for the different colleges. Above the main image is a “prospect of Cambridge from London Road” in which the turrets of several prominent buildings include King’s Chapel and St. Mary’s Church are depicted against a backdrop of rolling fields.


  1. Pennington 960
  2. RCIN 802776.