The original name of the river was the Granta and (unusually) its present name derives from the city of Cambridge (Old English: Grantebrycge) rather than the other way around: After the city's present name developed in Middle English, the river's name was backformed to match. 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 that the river is the "Granta" above the Silver Street Bridgemap 11 (in Cambridge) and the "Cam" below it. The Rhee tributary is also formally known as the Cam, and the Granta has a tributary on its upper stretch also known as the Granta.
An organisation called the Conservators of the River Cam was formed in 1702, charged with keeping the river navigable. The Conservators are responsible for the two locks in and north east of Cambridge: Jesus Lockmap 7 and Baits Bite Lock.map 3 The stretch north (downstream) of Jesus Lock is sometimes called the lower river.
The stretch between Jesus Lock and Baits Bite Lock is much used for rowing. There are also many residential boats on this stretch, their occupants forming a community who call themselves the Camboaters.