This was not universally applied, however, and the upper stretch of the river continues to be informally known as the Granta.
It has been said An organisation called the Conservators of the River Cam was formed in 1702, charged with keeping the river navigable.
It then skirts the edges of a number of villages as it moves into Cambridgeshire, successively Littlebury, Little Chesterford, Great Chesterford, Ickleton, Hinxton, Duxford and Whittlesford, powering a number of water mills along the way.
Forming the boundary between Great Shelford and Little Shelford, it turns west to flow past Hauxton to merge with the Rhee a mile south of Grantchester at Hauxton Junction.
The River Cam is the main river flowing through Cambridge in eastern England.
After leaving Cambridge, it flows north and east into the Great Ouse to the south of Ely at Pope's Corner.
This stretch also has the unusual feature of the remains of a submerged towpath: the riverside colleges did not permit barge horses on the Backs, so the beasts waded up the Cam to the mill pulling their loads behind them.
At this point its course turns east and from here until it merges with the Granta it forms the parish boundary between a succession of villages, though until it reaches Barrington it remains at a distance of around a kilometre from any settlement of any size.
Just after flowing under the Roman Ermine Street, it crosses the avenue of Wimpole Hall and a few kilometres later it receives the waters of the minor River Mel that runs through Meldreth.
It runs along the southern edge of the village of Barrington, where it still powers a water mill known as Bulbeck Mill.
Its northward journey passes first through Newport, where it is joined by the streams known as Wicken Water and Debden Water.
A couple of miles later it forms a picturesque addition to views of the stately home as it flows past the front of Audley End House, and is also joined by the stream known as Fulfen Slade.