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The origins of this cathedral city go back the 7th century, when Æthelthryth, the Anglo-Saxon saint known also as Etheldreda or Audrey, founded an abbey at the same location. It didn’t last, but was, instead, replaced by Ely Cathedral. According to recent surveys, the population hovers around 20,000 residents, compared with just 110 households in 1086.

The local economy is heavily dependent on fishing as a source of food and income. The city is located on large deposits of clays and muds, which are the sources of the only available minerals. These minerals, including phosphates nodules, provided employment for the local labor force throughout the 19th century. The city was also once known for its pottery, but this tradition has since died out.

Visitors who spend some time in Ely are often surprised by a large number of magnificent landmarks and religious sites. Ely Castle is now nothing but a mound, but it is speculated to be built by Bishop Nigel in the 13th century. Excavations took place in 2002 and uncovered a significant amount of evidence, which is now presented in the Ely History Museum. The museum itself is in restored 13th-century gaol and covers Ely and The Fens from pre-history to the 20th century. Another popular attraction is Oliver Cromwell's House and its eight period rooms, all of which are currently used to promote the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

If you get bored with history, you can always Ely City F.C. play at their home stadium. The club was established in 1885 and has recently relegated back to Division One.

Locations Near Ely