|Area: 343.38 km˛|
The City of Peterborough is a cathedral city and Unitary Authority in the East of England, United Kingdom. For ceremonial purposes it is in the county of Cambridgeshire.
Peterborough Town Hall is located 73.7 miles (118.6 km) north from the centre of London at Charing Cross. The city is situated on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea approximately 30 miles to the north-east. The local topography is notoriously flat and low-lying, and in some places lies below sea-level. The area known as the Fens falls to the east of Peterborough.
The City of Peterborough includes the outlying settlements of Wittering and Thorney and as a unitary authority borders Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire.
In 2006 the City of Peterborough had an estimated population of 168,000.
The Romans first established the fort of Durobrivae in the vicinity around 43 AD which later grew into the town.
Peterborough (Burgh, Burgus sancti Petri) is proved by its original name Medeshampstede to have been a Saxon village before 655 when Saxulf, a monk, founded the monastery on land granted to him for that purpose by Penda, king of Mercia. Its name was altered to Burgh between 992 and 1005 after Abbot Kenulf had made a wall round the minster, but the town does not appear to have been a borough until the 12th century. The burgesses received their first charter from "Abbot Robert" — probably Robert of Sutton (1262–1273).
Longthorpe TowerHistorically the Dean and Chapter, who succeeded the Abbot as lords of the manor, appointed a high bailiff, and the constables and other borough officers were elected at their court leet, but the borough was incorporated in 1874 under the government of a Mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Among the privileges claimed by the abbot as early as the 13th century was that of having a prison for felons taken in the soke and borough. In 1576 Bishop Scamble sold the lordship of the hundred of Nassaburgh, which is coextensive with the soke, to Queen Elizabeth I, who gave it to Lord Burghley, and from that time until the 19th century he and his descendants, marquesses of Exeter, had a separate gaol in Peterborough for prisoners arrested in the soke.
Peterborough GuildhallThe trades of weaving and woolcombing were carried on in Peterborough in the 14th century. The abbot formerly held four fairs, of which two, one called St Peter's fair, granted in 1189 and later held on the second Tuesday and Wednesday in July, and the other called the Bridge fair, granted in 1439 and held on the first Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in October, still survive and were purchased by the corporation from the ecclesiastical commissioners in 1876.
One of the key points in the development of Peterborough was the decision to route the main east coast railway line through the city. As a result, Peterborough developed into an important railway hub. The railway, coupled with vast local clay deposits, enabled large scale brick making and distribution to take place. The Greater Peterborough area was the UK's leading producer of bricks for much of the 20th century.