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Another minor tributary is Bourn Brook which has its source near the village of Eltisley, 10 mi (16 km) west of Cambridge, running east through Caxton, Bourn and Toft to join the Cam at Byron's Pool.
"The Reeve's Tale" from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales begins: Byron's Pool is named after the poet, Lord Byron, who is reputed to have swum there.
His homesick poem of 1912 evokes the river: One of Brooke's contemporaries, Gwen Darwin, later Raverat, grew up in the old mill by the Mill Pond.
Her book, Period Piece, is a memoir of a childhood messing about on the river. Children's author Philippa Pearce, who lived in Great Shelford until her death in December 2006, featured the Cam in her books, most notably Minnow on the Say.
The most common of these are the flat-bottomed punts.
It has been said An organisation called the Conservators of the River Cam was formed in 1702, charged with keeping the river navigable.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.The river is renamed the River Say, with Great and Little Shelford becoming Great and Little Barley, and Cambridge becoming "Castleford" (not to be confused with the real town of the same name in West Yorkshire).River Cam is referred to as "Camus, reverend Sire" in line 103 of John Milton's pastoral elegy Lycidas.