Ely, Cambridgeshire: History On Old Film

Ely sits in the county of Cambridgeshire, which is in the region called East of England. The Cathedral and period buildings belie its relatively recent status as a city.

What is Ely famous for?

Ely is famous for its historic Anglican Cathedral. St Etheldreda built an abbey church on the site in AD 672. The current building was started in 1083, with Cathedral status granted in 1109. Ely occupies the largest island in the Cambridgeshire fens, a coastal plain of almost 200 square miles. 

Is Ely a city or a town?

Ely became a city with a Royal Charter in 1974. Before that, it was a town but often called a city because of its ancient Cathedral. The smallest city in England is Wells and has a population of just over 10,000 people. With 18,000 residents, Ely is England’s second-smallest city and the UK’s ninth smallest city.

Is Ely in Cambridgeshire a safe place to live?

Crime statistics show Ely is one of the safest places to live in England. Residents are friendly and generally enjoy a better quality of life than experienced in other British cities.

Ely In The 1940s

Ely, Cambs (1943) – War-Time Fundraising

Press the arrow on the screen to watch this YouTube short film

Fenland on Film – No audio – Credit: British Film Institute

Which page do you want to see next?

  • Page 1 Ely, Cambs (1943) – War-Time Fundraising
  • Page 2 Ely (1943)
  • Page 3 Ely & The Fens (1947)
  • Page 4 Ely, Cambs (1947)
  • Page 5 Alms Houses And Ely Cathedral (1949)
  • Page 6 Ely, Cambs (1955) – “Island City” [HD]
  • Page 7 Ely, Cambs (Year Unknown) – Ely Cathedral
  • Page 8 Ely, Cambs (1963)
  • Page 9 Ely, Cambs (1963) – Excerpt from “The Flood” [HD]
  • Page 10 Ely, Cambs (1968)
  • Page 11 Trains In The 1980’s – Ely, Spring 1987
  • Page 12 Ely, Cambs (1987) – The Restoration of Ely Cathedral
  • Page 13 Ely, Monday 3rd June 1991
  • Page 14 The Outdoor Dance Festival 92
  • Page 15 THE WHY FILES – KING’S SCHOOL, ELY (L!ve TV, 1999)
  • Page 16 Hedgepig Ely Folk Festival 2006
  • Page 17 Other Boleyn Girl Ely Cathedral August 2007 BBC Local News
  • Page 18 St Ives to Ely 22 08 08
  • Page 19 Approaching Ely, Cambridgeshire, southbound
  • Page 20 Ely Eel Day procession 02 05 09
  • Page 21 Random filming of Ely
  • Page 22 CU-TV Art in Cambridge: Ely Cathedral
  • Page 23 Ely Eel Day Parade 2011
  • Page 24 Ely Eel Day Procession 2012
  • Page 25 The Octagon, Lantern and Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (Antiques Road Trip BBC)
  • Page 26 Ely Cathedral Flower Festival
  • Page 27 BBC School Report – Filming Macbeth at Ely Cathedral | With Sam and Jack
  • Page 28 Ely Folk Festival 2014
  • Page 29 Tornado forming south of Ely Cambridgeshire 10-Aug-14
  • Page 30 Northgate Rapper at Ely Folk Festival 2016 (Mind the light!)