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The Backs

Introduction

The Backs consists of the lawns and gardens to the rear of the colleges associated with Cambridge University. Features of The Backs include riverside walks and lawns.

The Backs, now a world famous landscape was originally part of the town drain and a commercial waterway for barges on the Cam until 1750. The 10 hectare (24 acre) site, which stretches between Queen's College and St John's College, was landscaped in the 18th and 19th century.

Although the Backs are individually owned by the colleges several plans were drawn up for an overall landscape scheme notably by Lancelot Brown in 1779 which was never executed. The site features riverside walks and lawns, overhung by trees.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

The Backs consists of the lawns and gardens to the rear of the colleges associated with Cambridge University. The public is allowed to traverse the historic park.

History

The area known as The Backs was landscaped in 1750.

Features & Designations

Features

  • Lawn
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • River
  • Walk
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Key Information

Type

Garden

Purpose

Recreational/sport

Survival

Extant

Hectares

10

Open to the public

Yes

References

References

Contributors

  • Cambridge Gardens Trust