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City and unitary authority
Blue shield with two gold keys crossing each other at right angles, within a silver crown. Above the shield is a larger gold crown. Either side of the shield, facing each other and in mirror image, are white winged creatures similar to cats, with three black stars on each of the outward facing wings. They each stand on a branch of a tree and have one paw resting on the shield. Underneath is the motto
Coat of arms of Peterborough City Council[1]
Motto: Upon this rock
Peterborough Unitary Authority Area shown within Cambridgeshire
Peterborough Unitary Authority Area shown within Cambridgeshire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region East of England[2]
Ceremonial county Cambridgeshire
Admin HQ Peterborough
City status 1541[3]
Incorporated 1874
Unitary 1998
 • Type Non-metropolitan district
 • Governing body Peterborough City Council
 • Leadership Leader and Cabinet
 • Executive Conservative
 • MPs Stewart Jackson (Con)
Shailesh Vara (Con)
 • Total 132.58 sq mi (343.38 km2)
Population (2011 est.)
 • Total 61,300
 • Density 3,800/sq mi (1,466/km2)
 • Ethnicity 60.0% White British
21.8% White Other
12.2% Asian or Asian British
3.2% Black or Black British
0.8% Chinese or Other
3.0% Mixed Race
Time zone GMT (UTC±0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postcode area PE
Area code(s) 01733
ISO 3166-2 GB-PTE
ONS code 00JA (ONS)
E06000031 (GSS)
OS grid reference TL185998

Peterborough ( or ) is a Cathedral City and Unitary Authority Area in the East of England, with a population estimated in 2012 to be 186,400, of which 137,910 were residents in the urban area of the city.[4] Although traditionally part of Northamptonshire, for ceremonial purposes it falls within the county of Cambridgeshire. It is the 27th largest in the United Kingdom, excluding urban zones. Situated 75 miles (121 km) north of London, the city stands on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the north-east. The railway station is an important stop on the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh. The unitary authority borders Northamptonshire and Rutland to the west, Lincolnshire to the north, and non-metropolitan Cambridgeshire to the south and east.

The local topography is flat and low-lying, and in some places lies below sea level, for example in the Fens that lie to the east of Peterborough. Human settlement in the area began before the Bronze Age, as can be seen at the Flag Fen archaeological site to the east of the current city centre also with evidence of Roman occupation. The Anglo-Saxon period saw the establishment of a monastery, Medeshamstede, which later became Peterborough Cathedral. Peterborough was until 1965 part of Northamptonshire, although the city with its surrounding rural area was from medieval times administered separately as the Soke of Peterborough.

The population grew rapidly following the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, and Peterborough became an industrial centre, particularly noted for its brick manufacture. Following the Second World War, growth was limited until designation as a New Town in the 1960s. Housing and population are expanding and a £1 billion regeneration of the city centre and immediately surrounding area is underway. In common with much of the United Kingdom, industrial employment has fallen, with a significant proportion of new jobs in financial services and distribution.


  • History 1
    • Early history 1.1
    • Modern history 1.2
  • Administration 2
    • Politics 2.1
    • Local government 2.2
    • Health service 2.3
    • Public utilities 2.4
  • Economy 3
    • Regeneration 3.1
    • Employment 3.2
  • Transport 4
  • Demographics 5
    • Population 5.1
    • Ethnicity 5.2
    • Religion 5.3
  • Culture 6
    • Education 6.1
    • Arts 6.2
    • Sport 6.3
    • Media 6.4
  • Landmarks 7
  • Peterborians 8
  • Geography 9
    • Climate 9.1
    • Topography 9.2
    • Linguistics 9.3
    • Affiliations 9.4
  • References 10
    • Footnotes 10.1
    • Bibliography 10.2
  • External links 11



The town's name changed to Burgh from the late tenth century, possibly after Abbot Kenulf had built a defensive wall around the abbey, and eventually developed into the form Peterborough; the town does not appear to have been a borough until the 12th century.[5] The contrasting form Gildenburgh is also found in the 12th century history of the abbey, the Peterborough version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (see Peterborough Chronicle below) and in a history of the abbey by the monk Hugh Candidus.[6]

Early history

Present-day Peterborough is the latest in a series of settlements which have at one time or other benefited from its site where the Nene leaves large areas of permanently drained land for the fens. Remains of Bronze Age settlement and what is thought to be religious activity can be seen at the Flag Fen archaeological site to the east of the city centre. The Romans established a fortified garrison town at Durobrivae on Ermine Street, five miles (8 km) to the west in Water Newton, around the middle of the 1st century AD. Durobrivae's earliest appearance among surviving records is in the Antonine Itinerary of the late 2nd century.[7] There was also a large 1st century Roman fort at Longthorpe, designed to house half a legion, or about 3,000 soldiers;[8] it may have been established as early as around AD 44–48.[9] Peterborough was an important area of ceramic production in the Roman period, providing Nene Valley Ware that was traded as far away as Cornwall and the Antonine Wall, Caledonia.

Peterborough is shown by its original name Medeshamstede to have possibly been an Anglian settlement before AD 655, when Saxwulf founded a monastery on land granted to him for that purpose by Peada of Mercia, who converted to Christianity and was briefly ruler of the smaller Middle Angles sub-group. His brother Wulfhere murdered his own sons, similarly converted and then finished the monastery by way of atonement.[10]

Hereward, the outlaw, wake or exile, set off with supporters from his exile in Flanders and rampaged through the town in 1069 or 1070. Outraged, Abbot Turold erected a fort or castle, which, from his name, was called Mont Turold: this mound, or hill, is on the outside of the deanery garden, now called Tout Hill, although in 1848 Tot-hill or Toot Hill.[11] The abbey church was rebuilt and greatly enlarged in the 12th century.[12] The Peterborough Chronicle, a version of the Anglo-Saxon one, contains unique information about the history of England after the Norman conquest, written here by monks in the 12th century.[13] This is the only known prose history in English between the conquest and the later 14th century.[14] The burgesses received their first charter from "Abbot Robert" – probably Robert of Sutton (1262–1273).[15] The place suffered materially in the war between John I and the confederate barons, many of whom took refuge in the monastery here and in Crowland Abbey, from which sanctuaries they were forced by the king's soldiers, who plundered the religious houses and carried off great treasures.[10] The abbey church became one of Henry VIII's retained, more secular, cathedrals in 1541,[16] having being assessed at the Dissolution (in the King's Books) as having revenue at £1,972.7.¾ per annum.[10]

When civil war broke out, Peterborough was divided between supporters of King Charles I (Cavaliers) and supporters of the Long Parliament (Roundheads). The city lay on the border of the Eastern Association of counties which sided with Parliament, and the war reached Peterborough in 1643 when soldiers arrived in the city to attack Royalist strongholds at Stamford and Crowland. The Royalist forces were defeated within a few weeks and retreated to Burghley House, where they were captured and sent to Cambridge.[17] While the Parliamentary soldiers were in Peterborough, however, they ransacked the cathedral, destroying the Lady Chapel, chapter house, cloister, high altar and choir stalls, as well as mediaeval decoration and records.[18]

Housing and sanitary improvements were effected under the provisions of an Act of Parliament passed in 1790 and an act to build a gaol to replace the two that previously stood, was passed in 1839.[10] At the end of February 1835 a destructive fire broke out, which consumed about sixty 'inferior' homes.[10]

After the dissolution 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 this ended when the municipal borough was incorporated in 1874 under the government of a mayor, six aldermen and eighteen councillors.[19] 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 of Peterborough. In 1576 Bishop Edmund Scambler sold the lordship of the hundred of Nassaburgh, which was 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, the Earls and Marquesses of Exeter, had a separate gaol for prisoners arrested in the Soke.[15] The abbot formerly held four fairs, of which two, St. Peter's Fair, granted in 1189 and later held on the second Tuesday and Wednesday in July, and the Brigge Fair, granted in 1439 and later held on the first Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in October, were purchased by the corporation from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1876. The Bridge Fair, as it is now known, granted to the abbey by King Henry VI, survives.[20] Prayers for the opening of the fair were once said at the morning service in the cathedral, followed by a civic proclamation and a sausage lunch at the town hall which still takes place. The mayor traditionally leads a procession from the town hall to the fair where the proclamation is read, asking all persons to "behave soberly and civilly, and to pay their just dues and demands according to the laws of the realm and the rights of the City of Peterborough."[21]

Modern history

Railway lines began operating locally during the 1840s, but it was the 1850 opening of the Great Northern Railway's main line from London to York that transformed Peterborough from a market town to an industrial centre. Lord Exeter had opposed the railway passing through Stamford, so Peterborough, situated between two main terminals at London and Doncaster, increasingly developed as a regional hub.[22]

Burghley House (1555–1587), seat of the Marquess of Exeter, hereditary Lord Paramount of Peterborough

Coupled with vast local clay deposits, the railway enabled large-scale brick-making and distribution to take place. The area was the UK's leading producer of bricks for much of the twentieth century. Brick-making had been a small seasonal craft since the early nineteenth century, but during the 1890s successful experiments at Fletton using the harder clays from a lower level had resulted in a much more efficient process.[23] The market dominance during this period of the London Brick Company, founded by the prolific Scottish builder and architect John Cathles Hill, gave rise to some of the country's most well-known landmarks, all built using the ubiquitous Fletton Brick.[24] Perkins Engines was established in Peterborough in 1932 by Frank Perkins, creator of the Perkins diesel engine. Thirty years later it employed more than a tenth of the population of Peterborough, mainly at Eastfield.[25] Baker Perkins had relocated from London to Westwood, now the site of HMP Peterborough, in 1903, followed by Peter Brotherhood to Walton in 1906; both manufacturers of industrial machinery, they too became major employers in the city.[26] British Sugar remains headquartered in Woodston, although the beet sugar factory, which opened there in 1926, was closed in 1991.[27]

Founded at the Corn Exchange in 1860, Norwich and Peterborough was the ninth largest building society until it merged into the Yorkshire in 2011.[28] N&P continues to operate under its own brand administered at Lynch Wood. Anglia Regional, the UK's fifth largest co-operative society, was also based in Peterborough, where it was established in 1876, until it merged with the Midlands in 2013.[29] The combined society began trading as Central England Co-operative in 2014.

Designated a New Town in 1967, Peterborough Development Corporation was formed in partnership with the city and county councils to house London's overspill population in new townships sited around the existing urban area.[30] There were to be four townships, one each at Bretton (originally to be called Milton, a hamlet in the Middle Ages), Orton, Paston/ Werrington and Castor. The last of these was never built, but a fourth, called Hampton, is now taking shape south of the city. It was decided that the city should have a major indoor shopping centre at its heart. Planning permission was received in late summer 1976 and Queensgate, containing over 90 stores and including parking for 2,300 cars, was opened by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1982. 34 miles (55 km) of urban roads were planned and a network of high-speed roads, known as parkways, was constructed.[31]

Peterborough's population grew by 45.4% between 1971 and 1991. New service-sector companies like Thomas Cook and Pearl Assurance were attracted to the city, ending the dominance of the manufacturing industry as employers. An urban regeneration company named Opportunity Peterborough, under the chairmanship of Lord Mawhinney, was set up by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in 2005 to oversee Peterborough's future development.[32] Between 2006 and 2012 a £1 billion redevelopment of the city centre and surrounding areas was planned. The master plan provides guidelines on the physical shaping of the city centre over the next 15–20 years. Proposals are still progressing for the north of Westgate, the south bank and the station quarter, where Network Rail is preparing a major mixed use development.[33] Whilst recognising that the reconfiguration of the relationship between the city and station was critical, English Heritage found the current plans for Westgate unconvincing and felt more thought should be given to the vitality of the historic core.[34]



The city formed a parliamentary borough returning two members from 1541, with the rest of the Soke being part of Northamptonshire parliamentary county. The Great Reform Act did not affect the borough, although the remaining, rural portion of the Soke was transferred to the northern division of Northamptonshire.[35] In 1885 the borough's representation was reduced to one member,[36] and in 1918 the boundaries were adjusted to include the whole Soke.[37] The serving member for Peterborough is the Conservative, Stewart Jackson MP, who defeated Labour's Helen Clark in the 2005 general election. In 1997 the North West Cambridgeshire constituency was formed, incorporating parts of the city and neighbouring Huntingdonshire. The serving member is the Conservative, Shailesh Vara MP, who succeeded the (then) Rt Hon Dr. Sir Brian Mawhinney, former Secretary of State for Transport and Chairman of the Conservative Party, in 2005. Mawhinney, who had previously served as Member of Parliament for Peterborough from 1979, was created Baron Mawhinney of Peterborough in the county of Cambridgeshire later that year. Peterborough and North West Cambridgeshire are included in the East of England constituency for elections to the European Parliament. It currently elects seven members using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.

Local government

The Town Hall, Peterborough (1930–1933)

From 1889 the ancient Soke of Peterborough formed an administrative county in its own right with boundaries similar, although not identical, to the current unitary authority.[38] The area however remained geographically part of Northamptonshire until 1965, when the Soke of Peterborough was merged with Huntingdonshire to form the county of Huntingdon and Peterborough.[39] Following a review of local government in 1974, Huntingdon and Peterborough was abolished and the current district created by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Peterborough with Peterborough Rural District, Barnack Rural District, Thorney Rural District, Old Fletton Urban District and part of the Norman Cross Rural District, which had each existed since 1894.[40] This became part of the non-metropolitan county of Cambridgeshire.[41] Letters patent were granted which continued the style of the city over the greater area.[42] In 1998 the city became autonomous of Cambridgeshire county council as a unitary authority, but it continues to form part of that county for ceremonial purposes.[43] The leader and cabinet model of decision-making, first adopted by the city council in 2001, is similar to national government.[44]

Policing in the city remains the responsibility of Cambridgeshire Constabulary; and firefighting, the responsibility of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. Nowadays the Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade, one of few of its kind, effectively functions as a retained fire station.[45] The Royal Anglian Regiment serves as the county regiment for Cambridgeshire. Peterborough formed its first territorial army unit, the 6th Northamptonshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, in 1860.[46]

Health service

As part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group became the main commissioner of health services in the city. Adult social care functions of NHS Peterborough transferred back to the city council on 1 April 2012 and public health transferred on 1 April 2013. The responsibility of guided primary care services (general practitioners, dentists, opticians and pharmacists) transferred to NHS England. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG is one of the biggest CCGs in the country with 108 GP practices, over 800 GPs and a budget of £854 million (2013/14).[47] The CCG is made up of eight local commissioning groups:[48] Borderline, Peterborough, Cam Health, CATCH, Hunts Health, Hunts Care Partners, Isle of Ely and Wisbech. Both Peterborough (over 107,000 registered patients) and Borderline (over 137,000 registered patients) local commissioning groups have GP practices within the unitary authority area.

Previously, NHS Peterborough (the public-facing name of Peterborough Primary Care Trust) guided primary care services in the city, directly provided adult social care and services in the community such as health visiting and physiotherapy and also funded hospital care and other specialist treatments. Prior to the forming of the PCT, the North West Anglia Healthcare NHS Trust provided health functions within the city and prior to that, Peterborough Health Authority.

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust became one of the first ten English NHS foundation trusts in 2004.[49] Although a £300 million health investment plan has seen the transfer of the city's two hospitals into a single site Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been plagued by financial problems since the move.[50] The full planning application for the redevelopment of the former Edith Cavell Hospital was approved by the council in 2006. Planning permission for the development of an integrated care centre on the site of the former Fenland Wing at Peterborough District Hospital was granted in 2003.[51] The City Care Centre finally opened on 1 July 2009[52] and the first patients were treated at the new Peterborough City Hospital on 15 November 2010.[53] The private Fitzwilliam Hospital is situated in the landscaped grounds of the Milton Estate.[54] Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, a designated University of Cambridge teaching trust, provides services to those who suffer from mental health problems. Following merger of the Cambridgeshire, then East Anglian Ambulance Services, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust is responsible for the provision of statutory emergency medical services (EMS) in Peterborough. The East Anglian Air Ambulance provides helicopter EMS across the region.

Public utilities

The council's budget for the financial year 2010/11 is £257.1 million.[55] The main source of non-school funding is the formula grant, which is paid by government to local authorities based on the services they provide. The remainder, to which the police and fire authorities (and parish council where this exists) set a precept, is raised from council tax and business rates. Mains water and sewerage services are provided by Anglian Water, a former nationalised industry and natural monopoly, privatised in 1989 and regulated by OFWAT.

Following deregulation, the consumer has a choice of energy supplier. Electricity was formerly provided by Eastern Electricity, which was privatised in 1990. In 2002 the supply business was sold to Powergen (now E.ON UK) and the distribution rights to EDF Energy who sold them to UK Power Networks in 2010. Natural gas was (and still is) supplied by British Gas, which was privatised in 1986; distribution (and gas and electricity transmission) is the responsibility of the National Grid, having been demerged as Transco in 1997. These industries are regulated by OFGEM. Peterborough Power Station is a 360 MWe gas-fired plant in Fengate operated by Centrica Energy.

British Telecommunications, privatised in 1984, provides fixed ADSL enabled (8 Mbit/s) telephone lines. Local loop unbundling, giving other internet service providers direct access, is completed at four out of 12 exchanges. The city is cabled by Virgin Media.[56] These businesses are regulated by OFCOM.



Peterborough is currently experiencing an economic boom compared to the rest of the country, believed in part to be due to the regeneration plan running to 2012. In 2005 economic growth was on average 5.5%, whilst in Peterborough it was 6.9%, the highest in the UK.[57] A chart of trend of regional gross value added, an important measure in the estimation of gross domestic product, of Peterborough at current basic prices (with figures in millions of pounds sterling) is given below:[58]
Year Regional GVA[59] Agriculture[60] Industry[61] Services[62]
1995 1,821 16 552 1,254
2000 2,387 12 580 1,795
2003 2,932 15 727 2,189

Recent figures, plotting growth from 1995 to 2004, reveal that Peterborough has become the most successful economy among unitary authorities in the East of England. The chart also reveals that the city's economy is growing faster than the East of England average and any other economy in the region.[63] Peterborough leads the UK’s business population growth, with a 3.78% increase between April and September 2006, according to Royal Mail's Business Barometer.[64] It has a strong economy in the environmental goods and services sector and has the largest cluster of environmental businesses in the UK.[65]

In 1994 Peterborough was designated one of four environment cities in the UK and it is now working to become the UK's acknowledged environment capital.[66] Peterborough Environment City Trust, an independent charity, was set up at this time to work towards Peterborough becoming the UK's environment capital and deliver's projects promoting healthier and sustainable living in the city.[67] The council and regional development agency are taking advice on regeneration issues from a number of internationally recognised experts, including Benjamin Barber (formerly an adviser to President Bill Clinton), Jan Gustav Strandenaes (United Nations adviser on environmental issues) and Patama Roorakwit (a Thai "community architect").[68]


According to the 2001 census, the workplace population of 90,656 is divided into 60,118 people who live in Peterborough and 30,358 people who commute in. A further 13,161 residents commute out of the city to work.[69] Earnings in Peterborough are lower than average. Median earnings are £9.77 per hour, less than the regional median of £11.69 and the national median hourly rate of £11.26.[70] As part of the government's M11 corridor, Peterborough is committed to creating 17,500 jobs with the population growing to 200,000 by 2020.[71]

Future employment will also be created through the plan for the city centre launched by the council in 2003. Predictions of the levels and types of employment created were published in 2005.[33] These include 1,421 jobs created in retail; 1,067 created in a variety of leisure and cultural developments; 338 in three hotels; and a further 4,847 jobs created in offices and other workspaces. Recent relocations of large employers include both Tesco (1,070 employees) and Debenhams (850 employees) distribution centres.[72] A further 2,500 jobs are to be created in the £140 million Gateway warehouse and distribution park, this is expected to compensate for the 6,000 job losses as a result of the decline in manufacturing, anticipated in a report cited by the cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration in 2006.[73]

With traditionally low levels of unemployment, Peterborough is a popular destination for workers and has seen significant growth through migration since the post-war period. The leader of the council said he believed Peterborough had taken up to 80% of the 65,000 people who had arrived in the East of England from the Baltic states.[74] To help cope with this influx the council has put forward plans to construct an average of 1,300 homes each year until 2021.[75] Demand for short term employees remains high and the market supports up to 20 high street recruitment agencies at any given time. Peterborough Trades Council, formed in 1898, is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress.[76]


Peterborough is a major stop on the East Coast Main Line, 45–50 minutes' journey time from central London, with high-speed intercity services from King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley operated by the East Coast Main Line Company at around a 20-minute frequency, and slower commuter services terminating at Peterborough operated by Great Northern. It is a major railway junction where a number of cross-country routes converge. East Midlands Trains operate the Peterborough to Lincoln Line, with through services to Doncaster and a route from Liverpool Lime Street to Norwich or Cambridge via the main line north of Peterborough; CrossCountry operate the Birmingham to Peterborough Line and with Abellio Greater Anglia, the Ely to Peterborough Line, with through services to Cambridge and Stansted Airport.[77] Peterborough has a business airport with a paved runway at Holme and a recreational airfield hosting a parachute school at Sibson.

Historic cast iron railway bridge over the River Nene (1847), built by Lewis Cubitt.

The River Nene, made navigable from the port at Wisbech to Northampton by 1761,[78] passes through the city centre and a green viaduct carries the railway over the river. It was built in 1847 by Lewis Cubitt, who was more famous for his bridges in Australia, India and South America. Apart from some minor repairs in 1910 and 1914 (the steel bands and cross braces around the fluted legs) the bridge remains as he built it. Now a listed structure, it is the oldest surviving cast iron railway bridge in the UK.[79] By the Town Bridge, the Customs House, built in the early eighteenth century, is a visible reminder of the city's past function as an inland port.[80] The Environment Agency navigation starts at the junction with the Northampton arm of the Grand Union Canal and extends for 91 miles (147 km) ending at Bevis Hall just upstream of Wisbech. The tidal limit used to be Woodston Wharf until the Dog-in-a-Doublet lock was built five miles (8 km) downstream in 1937.[81]

The A1/A1(M) primary route (part of European route E15) broadly follows the path of the historic Great North Road from St Paul's Cathedral in the heart of London, through Peterborough (Junction 17), continuing north a further 335 miles (539 km) to central Edinburgh. In 1899 the British Electric Traction Company sought permission for a tramway joining the northern suburbs with the city centre. The system, which operated under the name Peterborough Electric Traction Company, opened in 1903 and was abandoned in favour of motor buses in 1930, when it was merged into the Eastern Counties Omnibus Company.[82] Today, bus services in the city are operated by several companies including the Stagecoach Group (Cambus and Viscount) and Delaine Buses. Despite its large-scale growth, Peterborough has the fastest peak and off-peak travel times for a city of its size in the UK, due to the construction of the parkways. The Local Transport Plan anticipated expenditure totalling around £180 million for the period up to 2010 on major road schemes to accommodate development.[83]

The combination of rail connections to the Port of Felixstowe and to the East Coast Main Line as well as a road connection via the A1(M) has led to Peterborough being proposed as the site of a 334 acres (1.35 km2) rail-road logistics and distribution centre to be known as Magna Park.[84]

The Peterborough Millennium Green Wheel is a 50-mile (80 km) network of cycleways, footpaths and bridleways which provide safe, continuous routes around the city with radiating spokes connecting to the city centre. The project has also created a sculpture trail, which provides functional, landscape artworks along the Green Wheel route and a Living Landmarks project involving the local community in the creation of local landscape features such as mini woodlands, ponds and hedgerows.[85] Another long-distance footpath, the Hereward Way, runs from Oakham in Rutland, through Peterborough, to East Harling in Norfolk.



Peterborough has an estimated population of 61,300 as of June 2007,[86] forecast to rise variously to 190,700 in 2020 by the Office for National Statistics[87] and 204,000 in 2021 by Cambridgeshire County Council Research Group.[88] The city's population recorded at each census since 1901 is as follows:[89]

Customs House (1790) on the north bank of the river, from the Town Bridge.
Year City Soke Redistricted
1901 30,872 41,122 46,986
1911 33,574 44,718 53,114
1921 35,532 46,959 58,186
1931 43,551[90] 51,839 63,745
1939[91] 49,248 58,303 69,855
1951 53,417 63,791 76,555
1961 62,340 74,758 89,794
1971 69,556 85,820[92] 105,323
1981 131,696[93]
1991 155,050
2001 156,060
2011 191,422
2013 206,427


The Guildhall or Butter Cross (1669–1671), Cathedral Square, Peterborough.

Peterborough is home to one of the largest concentrations of Indian community to celebrate the city's diversity turned violent. Pakistanis and Iraqis clashed over the weekend and one man, injured in the fighting, was taken to hospital.[100] Since then, race relations have improved significantly.

East Anglia is the leading destination for new migrants and around 90,000 of the 123,000 who have registered to work in the region have settled in Cambridgeshire. According to a report published by the police in 2007 "the hidden scale of migration into the county is demonstrated by the different number of languages officers and staff deal with, which now exceeds 100. Translation costs linked to dealing with incidents and crime are close to £1 million a year." The report says the migrant communities have led to a change in the nature of crime in the county, with an increase in drink-driving offences, knife crime and an international dimension added to activities such as running cannabis factories and human trafficking. The number of foreign nationals arrested in the north of the county rose from 894 in 2003 to 2,435 in 2006, but the report also says "inappropriately negative" community perceptions about migrant workers often complicate routine incidents, raising tensions and turning them "critical"; the fact that many new migrants are crowded into privately rented accommodation, often in multiple occupation, is a potentially destabilising factor in many communities, raising problems of noise, parking, waste disposal, petty robbery, household disputes and assaults against women in mixed houses.[101] Julie Spence, then Chief Constable, was careful to add there was "little evidence that the increased numbers of migrant workers have caused significant or systematic problems in respect of community safety or cohesion." She also emphasised that the dramatic change in the county's profile—from a rural county in which four years ago 95% of teenagers were white to one of the country's major ethnically mixed growth points—has had a positive impact in development and jobs. Cambridgeshire's population is one of the fastest growing in Britain and is projected to rise by a further 8.5% by 2016, mostly fuelled by eastern European migrants.[102] On 11 March 2008, the BBC broadcast The Poles are Coming!, a controversial documentary on the impact of Polish migration to Peterborough by Tim Samuels, as part of its White Season.[103]

The number of languages in use is growing where previously few languages other than English were spoken. Peterborough now offers classes in Italian, Urdu and Punjabi in its primary schools.[104] As the city expands the council has introduced a new statutory development plan.[105] Its aim is to accommodate an additional 22,000 homes, 18,000 jobs and over 40,000 people living in Peterborough by 2020. The newly developing Hampton township will be completed, there will be a 1,500-home development at Stanground and a further 1,200-home development at Paston.


Norman gateway below the chapel of St. Nicholas (1177–1194), Minster Precincts.

Christianity has the largest following in Peterborough, in particular the Church of England, with a significant number of parish churches and a cathedral. Recent immigration to the city has also seen the Roman Catholic population increase substantially.[106] Other denominations are also in evidence; the latest church to be constructed is a £7 million "superchurch," KingsGate, formerly Peterborough Community Church, which can seat up to 1,800 worshippers.[107] In comparison with the rest of the country, Peterborough has a lower proportion of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and Sikhs. The city has a higher percentage of Muslims and people with no religion than the national average.[108] The majority of Muslims reside in the Millfield and New England areas of the city, where two large mosques (including the Faidhan-e-Madina Mosque) are based. Peterborough also has both Hindu (Bharat Hindu Samaj) and Sikh (Singh Sabha Gurdwara) temples in these areas.

The Anglican Diocese of Peterborough covers roughly 1,200 square miles (3,100 km²), including the whole of Northamptonshire, Rutland and the Soke of Peterborough. The parts of the city that lie south of the river, which were historically in Huntingdonshire, fall within the Diocese of Ely, which covers the remainder of Cambridgeshire and western Norfolk. The current Bishop of Peterborough has been appointed Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Ely, with pastoral care for these parishes delegated to him by the Bishop of Ely.[109][110] The city falls wholly within the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia (which has its seat at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Baptist, Norwich) and is served by Saint Peter and All Souls Church, built in 1896 and decorated in the Gothic style.[111] The Greek Orthodox Community of Saint Cyril, Patriarch of Jerusalem was established in 1991 under the Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain.[112]



Peterborough has one independent boarding school; Peterborough High School, formerly Westwood House. The school caters for girls and now boys up to the age of 18. Peterborough's state schools are currently undergoing immense change. Five of the city's 15 secondary schools were closed in July 2007 and are to be demolished over the coming years. John Mansfield, Hereward (formerly Eastholm) and Deacon's were replaced with the flagship Thomas Deacon Academy, designed by Lord Foster of Thames Bank which opened in September 2007.

The Voyager School, which has specialist media arts status, replaced Bretton Woods and Walton comprehensive. The schools that remain will be extended and enlarged. Over £200 million is to be spent and the changes on-going to 2010.[113] The King's School is one of seven schools established, or in some cases re-endowed and renamed, by King Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries to pray for his soul.[114] In 2006, 39.4% of Peterborough local education authority pupils attained five grades A* to C, including English and Mathematics, in the General Certificate of Secondary Education, lower than the national average of 45.8%.[115]

The city has its own further education colleges, Peterborough Regional College (established in 1946 as Peterborough Technical College) and City College Peterborough (known as Peterborough College of Adult Education until 2010). Peterborough Regional College attracts over 15,000 students each year from the UK and abroad and is currently ranked in the top five per cent of colleges in the UK.[116]

The city is currently without a university, since Loughborough University closed its Peterborough campus in 2003.[117] Consequently it became the second largest centre of population in the UK (after Swindon) without its own higher education institution. In 2006 however, Peterborough Regional College began talks with Anglia Ruskin University to develop a new university campus for the city.[118][119] The college and the university completed the legal contracts for the creation of a new joint venture company in 2007, marking the culmination of legal negotiations and securing of funds required in order to build the new higher education centre.[120] University Centre Peterborough opened to the first 850 students in 2009.[121]

The former public library on Broadway was donated by Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1906; Carnegie was made first freeman of the city on the day of the opening ceremony.


A section of the Triumph of Arts and Sciences at the Royal Albert Hall (1867–1871), depicting Peterborough Cathedral.

Peterborough enjoys a wide range of events including the annual East of England Show, Peterborough Festival and CAMRA beer festival, which takes place on the river embankment in late August.[122]

The Key Theatre, built in 1973, is situated on the embankment, next to the River Nene. The theatre aims to provide entertainment, enlightenment and education by reflecting the rich culture Peterborough has to offer. The programme is made up of home-grown productions, national touring shows, local community productions and one-off concerts. There is disabled access, an infrared hearing system for the deaf and hard of hearing and there are also regular signed performances.[123]

In 1937 the Odeon Cinema opened on Broadway, where it operated successfully for more than half a century. In 1991 the Odeon showed its last film to the public and was left to fall into a state of disrepair, until 1997, when a local entrepreneur purchased the building as part of a larger project, including a restaurant and art gallery. The Broadway, designed by Tim Foster Architects, was one of the largest theatres in the region and offered a selection of live entertainment, including music, comedy and films.[124] In January 2009, it was severely damaged by arsonists, resulting in closure when its insurers refused to pay the claim due to faulty fire detection systems.[125] The Embassy Theatre, a large Art Deco building designed by David Evelyn Nye, also opened on Broadway in 1937. Nye was usually a cinema architect, and this was his only theatre. The Embassy was converted into a cinema in 1953, becoming the ABC and later the Cannon Cinema, before it was closed in 1989 and converted into a public house in 1996. Today the premises are occupied by the Edwards bar chain.[126] [127]

The John Clare Theatre within the new central library,[128] again on Broadway, is home to the Peterborough Film Society. One of the region's leading venues, the Cresset in Bretton, provides a wide range of events for the residents of the city and beyond, including theatre, comedy, music and dance. Peterborough has a 13-screen Showcase Cinema, an ice rink and two indoor swimming pools open to the general public. A diverse range of restaurants can be found throughout the city, including Chinese & Cantonese, Indian & Nepalese, Thai and many Italian restaurants. In the closing months of 2006, for instance, Polish, Japanese and Mexican restaurants were all opened.

A regional magazine, Art and Soul, encouraging the arts and local music was started in 2007. The magazine covers many aspects of the Peterborough arts and music scene, including organising gigs in the city.[129] Peterborough has recently been used as the setting for two popular novels, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka[130] and A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon.[131]


Peterborough United Football Club, known as The Posh, has been the local football team since 1934. The ground is situated at London Road on the south bank of the River Nene. Peterborough United have a history of cup giant-killings.[132] They set the record for the highest number of league goals (134, Terry Bly alone scoring 52) in the 1960-61 season, which was their first season in the Football League, in which they won the Fourth Division title. The club's highest finish position to date was tenth place in Division One, then the second tier of English football, in the 1992-93 season.[133] Irish property developer Darragh MacAnthony was appointed chairman in 2006 and is now owner, having undertaken a lengthy purchase from Barry Fry who remains director of football, having also been manager of the club from 1996 to 2005. MacAnthony has promised to move The Posh to a new all-seater stadium.[134] Peterborough also has a non-league football team, Peterborough Northern Star FC, who play at Chestnut Avenue.

As well as football, Peterborough has teams competing in rugby, cricket, hockey, ice hockey, rowing, athletics, American and Australian Rules Football. Although Cambridgeshire is not a first-class cricket county, Northamptonshire staged some home matches in the city between 1906 and 1974. Peterborough Town Cricket Club and the City of Peterborough Hockey Club compete at their shared ground in Westwood;[135] City of Peterborough Hockey Club men's 1st XI are currently top of the East League and close to regaining their place in the England Hockey League for 2011/12. They run nine adult men's sides, four adult ladies and have a thriving and increasingly successful junior section. The city's oldest and most successful rugby team, Peterborough Rugby Union Football Club, play at Fortress Fengate,[136] while Peterborough Lions RUFC play at the Lion's Den, Bretton Woods.

Peterborough City Rowing Club moved from its riverside setting to the current Thorpe Meadows location in 1983. The spring and summer regattas held there attract rowers and scullers from competing clubs all over the country. Every February the adjacent River Nene is host to the head of the river race, which again attracts hundreds of entries.[137] Peterborough Athletic Club train and compete at the embankment athletics arena. In 2006, after 10 years, the Great Eastern Run returned to the racing calendar, around 3,000 runners raced through the flat streets of Peterborough for the half-marathon, supported by thousands of spectators along the course.[138]

Peterborough Phantoms are the city's ice hockey team, playing in the English Premier League at the East of England Ice Rink. Motorcycle speedway is also a popular sport in Peterborough, with race meetings held at the East of England Showground. The team, known as the Peterborough Panthers, have operated regularly in the Elite League.[139] The Showground hosts the annual British Motorcycle Federation Rally each May. In 2009, Peterborough hosted one of the first rounds of the Tour Series, a new series of televised town and city centre cycling races.


There is a major radio transmitter at Morborne, approximately eight miles (13 km) west of Peterborough, for national FM radio (BBC Radios 1–4 and Classic FM) and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. This facility includes a 154 metre (505 ft) high guyed radio mast which collapsed in 2004 after a fire and has since been re-built.[140][141] Another transmission site at Gunthorpe in the north east of the city transmits AM/MW and local FM radio. The site is only 3 metres (10 ft) above sea level and has an 83 metre (270 ft) high active insulated guyed mast situated on it.

Peterborough is the largest town or city in the UK without any local radio of its own, although it is covered by four local radio stations and one regional station. Heart Peterborough, formerly Hereward FM, the original independent local radio station launched in 1980, still holds a large section of the market on 102.7 MHz but relocated to Cambridge in 2012, where it began sharing the localised programming (of mainly national output) with the Cambridge station. Hereward's sister station WGMS, launched in 1992 (from 1994 Classic Gold 1332), is now part of Heart's sister Gold network but has no programming made in Peterborough; Connect Radio, formerly Lite FM, is the second commercial station, since 1999, on 106.8 MHz and is broadcast partly from Kettering and partly from Southend and Radio Cambridgeshire, which once had a studio in the city, although it closed in 2012. Kiss 105-108 is the regional station for the East of England, broadcasting on 107.7 MHz in Peterborough. NOW Peterborough is the local DAB multiplex; BBC National DAB and the national commercial multiplex, Digital One, are also available in the city.[142] Peterborough is in the Anglia Television transmission area for ITV, with a small studio in the city (although it borders ITV Central). This is broadcast with BBC One and Two (East), Channel 4 and Channel 5 from Sandy Heath. The digital switchover in the East of England took place in 2011. Shopping channel Ideal World is broadcast nationwide from studios in Fengate, Peterborough.


  • Peterborough City Council
  • Opportunity Peterborough
  • Peterborough PCT
  • Peterborough Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Peterborough Regional College
  • Peterborough Today
  • Peterborough Community Website
  • Peterborough In Pictures

External links

  • Banham, John Final Recommendations for the Future Local Government of Cambridgeshire HMSO, London, 1994.
  • Banham, John Final Recommendations on the Future Local Government of Basildon & Thurrock, Blackburn & Blackpool, Broxtowe, Gedling & Rushcliffe, Dartford & Gravesham, Gillingham & Rochester upon Medway, Exeter, Gloucester, Halton & Warrington, Huntingdonshire & Peterborough, Northampton, Norwich, Spelthorne and the Wrekin HMSO, London, 1995.
  • Beckett, John V. City Status in the British Isles, 1830–2002 Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, 2005 (ISBN 0-7546-5067-7).
  • Bennett, Jack Arthur Walter Middle English Literature (ed. and completed by Douglas Gray) Oxford University Press, 1986 (ISBN 0-19-812214-4).
  • Brandon, David and Knight, John Peterborough Past: The City and The Soke Phillimore & Co., Chichester, 2001 (ISBN 1-86077-184-X).
  • Chisholm, Hugh (ed.) Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed., 28 vols.) Cambridge University Press, 1911 (text in the public domain).
  • Clark, Cecily (ed.) The Peterborough Chronicle 1070–1154 Oxford University Press, 1958 (ISBN 0-19-811136-3).
  • Colpi, Terry The Italian Factor: The Italian Community in Great Britain Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 1991 (ISBN 1-85158-344-0).
  • Davies, Elizabeth et al. Peterborough: A Story of City and Country, People and Places Peterborough City Council and Pitkin Unichrome, 2001 (ISBN 1-84165-050-1).
  • Garmonsway, George Norman (trans.) The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle J. M. Dent & Sons, London, 1972 & 1975 (ISBN 0-460-87038-6).
  • Grainger, Margaret A Descriptive Catalogue of the John Clare Collection Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, 1973 (ISBN 0-904108-00-7).
  • Hancock, Henry Drummond Report and Proposals for the East Midlands General Review Area (LGCE Report No.3) HMSO, London, 1961.
  • Hancock, Henry Drummond Report and Proposals for the Lincolnshire and East Anglia General Review Area (LGCE Report No.9) HMSO, London, 1965.
  • Hancock, Tom Greater Peterborough Master Plan Peterborough Development Corporation, 1971.
  • Ingram, James Henry (trans.) The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle J. M. Dent & Sons, London, 1823 (1847 Everyman's Library ed. with additional readings from the translation of John Allen Giles).
  • King, Richard John Handbook to the Cathedrals of England John Murray, London, 1862.
  • Labrum, Edward A. Civil Engineering Heritage: Eastern and Central England Thomas Telford, London, 1994 (ISBN 0-7277-1970-X).
  • Leatham, Victoria Burghley: The Life of a Great House The Herbert Press, London, 1992 (ISBN 1-871569-47-8).
  • Matthew, Henry Colin Gray and Harrison, Brian Howard (eds.) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (60 vols.) Oxford University Press in association with the British Academy, 2004–2006 (ISBN 0-19-861411-X).
  • Mellows, William Thomas (ed.) The Chronicle of Hugh Candidus a Monk of Peterborough, Oxford University Press, 1949 (scholarly ed. in Latin).
  • Mellows, William Thomas (ed.) The Peterborough Chronicle of Hugh Candidus (trans.) Peterborough Natural History, Scientific and Archæological Society, 1941 (popular ed. in English).
  • Newton, David Men of Mark: Makers of East Midland Allied Press Emap, Peterborough, 1977 (ISBN 0-9505954-0-3).
  • Parthey, Gustav and Pinder, Moritz (eds.) Itinerarivm Antonini Avgvsti et Hierosolymitanum: ex libris manu scriptis Friederich Nicolaus, Berlin, 1848.
  • Pryor, Francis Flag Fen: Life and Death of a Prehistoric Landscape Tempus Publishing, Stroud, 2005 (ISBN 0-7524-2900-0).
  • Rhodes, John The Nene Valley Railway Turntable Publications, Sheffield, 1976 (ISBN 0-902844-60-1).
  • Salter, Mike The Castles of East Anglia Folly Publications, Malvern, 2001 (ISBN 1-871731-45-3).
  • Skinner, Julia (with particular reference to the work of Robert Cook) Did You Know? Peterborough: A Miscellany The Francis Frith Collection, Salisbury, 2006 (ISBN 1-84589-263-1).
  • Sweeting, Walter Debenham The Cathedral Church of Peterborough: A Description of its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See G. Bell & Sons, London, 1898 (1926 reprint of the 2nd ed. of Bell's Cathedrals).
  • Tebbs, Herbert F. Peterborough: A History The Oleander Press, Cambridge, 1979 (ISBN 0-900891-30-0).
  • Turner, Roger Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape Phillimore & Co., Chichester, 1999 (ISBN 1-86077-114-9).
  • Youngs, Frederic A. Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England (2 vols.) The Offices of the Royal Historical Society, University College London, 1991 (ISBN 0-86193-127-0).


  1. ^ Grant of arms by letters patent sealed by Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy & Ulster Kings of Arms dated 6 September 1960.
  2. ^ The nine Government Office regions formed in 1994, were adopted in place of the eight standard statistical regions during 1999. East Anglia is now defined as Level 2 Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. See Hierarchical list of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics and the statistical regions of Europe The European Commission, Statistical Office of the European Communities (Retrieved 6 January 2008). Archived 16 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine Archived 18 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Beckett, John V. City Status in the British Isles, 1830–2002 (p.14) Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, 2005.
  4. ^ "Population estimates and forecasts". Peterborough City Council. 2012. "Peterborough Population and Dwelling Stock Estimates 2001-2012", p. 9 (PDF). Archived from the original on 19 February 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Originating in a new name for the abbey at Medeshamstede, and not the town, the name Burh was adopted for the abbey in the late 10th century, see Garmonsway (p. 117), also Mellows, William Thomas (ed.) The Chronicle of Hugh Candidus a Monk of Peterborough (pp.38 & 480) Oxford University Press, 1949, OCLC 314897451; the addition of Peter, the name of the abbey's principal titular saint, parallels development of e.g. the name Bury St. Edmunds and will have served to distinguish between the two places. Exemplified in mediaeval records in the Latinised form Burgus Sancti Petri, this gave rise to the modern name Peterborough.
  6. ^ Garmonsway (pp.183 & 198–99); Mellows, 1949 (p.66). As a modern local historian has put it, this was "a rhetorical term," used in these 12th century local histories "to contrast the riches of the late Anglo-Saxon monastery with the decrease in income caused by later impositions and the despoliation of the monastic treasure by Hereward," see Tebbs, Herbert F. Peterborough: A History (p.23) The Oleander Press, Cambridge, 1979.
  7. ^ Parthey, Gustav and Pinder, Moritz (eds.) Itinerarivm Antonini Avgvsti et Hierosolymitanum: ex libris manu scriptis Iter Britanniarvm (Iter V: Item a Londinio Luguvalio ad vallum mpm clvi sic) Friederich Nicolaus, Berlin, 1848. See also Reynolds, Thomas Iter Britanniarum or that part of the itinerary of Antoninus which relates to Britain with a new comment J. Burges, Cambridge, 1799.
  8. ^ They came, they saw Top 30 Roman sites (6), Channel 4 Television (Retrieved 20 July 2008).
  9. ^ PastScape Monument No. 364099 National Monuments Record, English Heritage (Retrieved 20 July 2008).
  10. ^ a b c d e f  
  11. ^ a b   Scheduled Ancient Monument: Touthill and site of castle bailey
  12. ^ Tim Tatton-Brown and John Crook, The English Cathedral, New Holland (2002) ISBN 1-84330-120-2
  13. ^ OCLC 63489126. For the Peterborough Chronicle's unique information, see also Clark, Cecily (ed.) The Peterborough Chronicle 1070–1154 (pp.xxi-xxx) Oxford University Press, 1958.
  14. ^ Bennett, Jack Arthur Walter Middle English Literature (ed. and completed by Douglas Gray), Oxford University Press, 1986.
  15. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh (ed.) Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) vol.21 Cambridge University Press, 1911 (text in the public domain).
  16. ^ a b Sweeting, Walter Debenham The Cathedral Church of Peterborough: A Description of its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See (pp.3–35) G. Bell & Sons, London, 1898 (facsimile of the 1926 reprint of the 2nd ed. of Bell's Cathedrals from Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 23 April 2007).
  17. ^ Davies, Elizabeth et al. Peterborough: A Story of City and Country, People and Places (pp.18–19) Peterborough City Council and Pitkin Unichrome, 2001.
  18. ^ King, Richard J. Handbook to the Cathedrals of England (p.77) John Murray, London, 1862. OCLC 27305221.
  19. ^ Under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 (5 & 6 Wm. IV c.76), Charter of Incorporation dated 17 March 1874.
  20. ^ "At the bridge of Peterborough by the River Nene, as well in the county of Huntingdon as in the county of Northampton, on all sides of the bridge."
  21. ^ Tebbs (p.125).
  22. ^ Brooks, John A Flavour of the Welland (p.12) The Welland Partnership and Jarrold Publishing, Norwich, 2004.
  23. ^ Davies (pp.23–24).
  24. ^ London Brick: 130 Years of History 1877–2007 Hanson Building Products, 2007.
  25. ^ Baker, Anne Pimlott "Perkins, Francis Arthur (1889–1967)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/48099.
  26. ^ Davies (pp.26–27).
  27. ^ The History of British Sugar British Sugar (Retrieved 5 January 2008). Archived 16 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine Archived 11 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Memorandum of Powers and Rules Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, April 1988.
  29. ^ 12th ed. Model Rules)UK (Based on Co-operativesRule Book Anglia Regional Co-operative Society, 6 October 2009.
  30. ^ Under the New Towns Act 1965 (1965 cap.59) cf. The Peterborough Development Corporation (Transfer of Property and Dissolution) Order 1988 (SI 1988/1410); the designation was made on 21 July 1967, see The London Gazette: no. 44377. p. 8515. 1 August 1967.
  31. ^ Hancock, Tom Greater Peterborough Master Plan Peterborough Development Corporation, 1971.
  32. ^ "Expansion: A billion reasons to be cheerful", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 2 March 2005.
  33. ^ a b The Plan for Peterborough City Centre Peterborough City Council, East of England Development Agency and English Partnerships, February 2005.
  34. ^ Urban Panel Review Paper for Peterborough (see archived copy in the UK Government Web Archive, archived on 10 January 2008) Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England and Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, 16 March 2006.
  35. ^ Formally the Representation of the People Act 1832 (2 & 3 Will. IV c.45).
  36. ^ Under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 (48 & 49 Vict. c.23).
  37. ^ Youngs, Frederic A. Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England Volume II: Northern England (Part III: Parliamentary Constituencies) Royal Historical Society, London, 1991.
  38. ^ Under the Local Government Act 1888 (51 & 52 Vict. c.41).
  39. ^ The Huntingdon and Peterborough Order 1964 (SI 1964/367), see Local Government Commission for England (1958–1967), Report and Proposals for the East Midlands General Review Area (Report No.3), 31 July 1961 and Report and Proposals for the Lincolnshire and East Anglia General Review Area (Report No.9), 7 May 1965.
  40. ^ Under the Local Government Act 1894 (56 & 57 Vict. c.73).
  41. ^ Under the Local Government Act 1972 (1972 c.70), see The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972 (SI 1972/2039) Part 5: County of Cambridgeshire.
  42. ^ Issued under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 25 June 1974, see The London Gazette: no. 46334. p. 7419. 28 June 1974.
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  46. ^ "Volunteer soldiers mark unit's centenary year", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 3 April 2008.
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  59. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding.
  60. ^ Includes hunting and forestry.
  61. ^ Includes energy and construction.
  62. ^ Includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured.
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  118. ^ Major step towards university for Peterborough Anglia Ruskin University, 22 February 2006.
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  125. ^ Baker, Marie "Broadway devastated by major fire blaze", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 26 January 2009.
  126. ^ 50th Anniversary 1937–1987 Souvenir Brochure Cannon Cinema, Peterborough, 1987.
  127. ^ "Embassy (Peterborough)". The Theatres Trust. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  128. ^ Managed on behalf of the council by Vivacity, an independent, not-for-profit organisation with charitable status; there are also nine branch libraries and a mobile library.
  129. ^ About Art and Soul Art and Soul Magazine (Retrieved 19 January 2009).
  130. ^ Orange Broadband prize for Fiction 2005 shortlist title A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka (336 pp. Viking, London, 2005) Orange Home UK (Retrieved 26 January 2008). Archived 6 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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  132. ^ Plummer, Russell Peterborough United on the FA Cup Trail, Part 1: "Sixty Years of Highlights in the Greatest Knockout Event" and Part 2: "Sunderland Disaster to Glory in Defeat at Old Trafford", Peterborough United Football Club, 3 & 4 January 2002.
  133. ^ Posh Stats and Records Peterborough United Football Club, 9 May 2007.
  134. ^ Conn, David "Posh fans wary of pitfalls on road to the Premiership", The Guardian, London and Manchester, 25 October 2006.
  135. ^ Peterborough Town changed its name for the 2006/7 season following a merger with Peterborough Athletic Hockey Club, see City of Peterborough Hockey Club for more details.
  136. ^ Bath, David A History of Rugby Union in the Peterborough Area with special reference to the history of Peterborough Rugby Union Football Club An extended version of a paper delivered to the Peterborough Burgh Society, October 2002.
  137. ^ "Rowing: Hunt and Gilbert strike gold for City", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 7 February 2006.
  138. ^ The Story Behind The Return of The Great Eastern Run Peterborough City Council (Retrieved 30 September 2007).
  139. ^ Club Honours Peterborough Speedway Showcase (Retrieved 19 March 2008).
  140. ^ "Mast fire 'could be deliberate'", BBC News Online, 1 November 2004.
  141. ^ "Fire: Mast blaze brings radio blackout", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 1 November 2004.
  142. ^ Radio Authority awards local digital multiplex licence for Peterborough Radio Authority, News Release 161/01, 9 November 2001.
  143. ^ East Midlands Newspapers Johnston Press (Retrieved 18 September 2007).
  144. ^ Midland Weekly Media Trinity Mirror (Retrieved 18 September 2007).
  145. ^ Newton, David Men of Mark: Makers of East Midland Allied Press Emap, Peterborough, 1977.
  146. ^ Walton, Jemma "Part 2: 'Fen men to the marrow' who have served us down through the years", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 14 June 2007.
  147. ^ "Peterborough on the big screen", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 13 June 2008.
  148. ^ "Nene Valley Railway used for filming of Nine", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 7 November 2008.
  149. ^ Skinner, Julia (with particular reference to the work of Robert Cook) Did You Know? Peterborough: A Miscellany (pp.33, 25 & 16) The Francis Frith Collection, Salisbury, 2006.
  150. ^ Heritage Explorer: Images for Learning National Monuments Record, English Heritage (Retrieved 4 July 2010).
  151. ^ Green Flag Award Winners (p.13) The Civic Trust, 21 July 2006. Peterborough Civic Society is registered with the Civic Trust.
  152. ^ Brandon and Knight (pp.111–112).
  153. ^ Grainger, Margaret A Descriptive Catalogue of the John Clare Collection Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, 1973.
  154. ^ Leatham, Victoria Burghley: The Life of a Great House The Herbert Press, London, 1992. See also Becker, Alida "This Old House" (review of Life at Burghley: Restoring One of England's Great Houses by the same author), The New York Times, 27 December 1992.
  155. ^ Turner, Roger Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape (pp.110–112) Phillimore & Co., Chichester, 1999.
  156. ^ Wentworth-Fitzwilliam family of Milton Peterborough City Council (Retrieved 22 September 2007). Archived 16 September 2007 at the Wayback MachineArchived 22 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  157. ^ Salter, Mike The Castles of East Anglia (p.21) Folly Publications, Malvern, 2001.
  158. ^ Brandon and Knight (p.17).
  159. ^ Pryor, Francis Flag Fen: Life and Death of a Prehistoric Landscape Tempus Publishing, Stroud, 2005.
  160. ^ Rhodes, John The Nene Valley Railway, Turntable Publications, Sheffield, 1976.
  161. ^ Changing Places: Case Studies of the Urban Renaissance The Urban and Economic Development Group (Retrieved 2 May 2007).
  162. ^ Woodland Wildlife Walk: Southey Wood Cambridgeshire County Council, 2004.
  163. ^ Castor Hanglands NNR English Nature, 2004.
  164. ^ Barkham, John Review of Bedford Purlieus: Its History, Ecology and Management by George Frederick Peterken and Robert Colin Welch (eds.) Journal of Biogeography, vol.3 no.3 (pp.322–323) September 1976.
  165. ^ Barnack Hills and Holes NNR English Nature, 2004.
  166. ^ Cecil Family, Marquess of Exeter Peterborough City Council (Retrieved 22 September 2007). Archived 16 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  167. ^ Obituary of George Eric Deacon Alcock Journal of the British Astronomical Association, vol.111 no.2 (pp.64–66) February 2001.
  168. ^ Robinson, Eric H. Clare, John (1793–1864) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004 (subscription required doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/5441. Retrieved 10 September 2007).
  169. ^ Collins, R. D. J. Perkins, Christopher Edward (1891–1968) Dictionary of New Zealand Biography vol.4 Auckland University Press, 1998.
  170. ^ Jeremy, David J. Royce, Sir (Frederick) Henry, baronet (1863–1933) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004 (subscription required doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35860. Retrieved 10 September 2007).
  171. ^ O'Connor, Barry Hill, Sir John (bap. 1714, d. 1775) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004 (subscription required doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/13281. Retrieved 30 September 2007).
  172. ^ Cole, Margaret Horrabin, James Francis (1884–1962) (rev. Amanda L. Capern) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004 (subscription required doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33995. Retrieved 6 October 2007).
  173. ^ Parkin, Jon Cumberland, Richard (1632–1718) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004 (subscription required doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6887. Retrieved 30 September 2007).
  174. ^ Daunton, Claire Cavell, Edith Louisa (1865–1915) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004 (subscription required doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32330. Retrieved 30 April 2007).
  175. ^ Mellows, William Thomas (ed.) The Peterborough Chronicle of Hugh Candidus (p.41) Peterborough Natural History, Scientific and Archæological Society, 1941.
  176. ^ Canonizzazione di Quaranta Martiri dell’Inghilterra e del Galles Omelia del Santo Padre Paolo VI The Holy See, 25 October 1970.
  177. ^ Stoker, Richard Armstrong, Sir Thomas Henry Wait (1898–1994) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004 (subscription required doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/54713. Retrieved 24 April 2007).
  178. ^ "Erasure uncovered in Norwich", BBC News Online, 10 February 2003.
  179. ^ The Barry Forgie Orchestra Vinyl Vulture (Retrieved 24 April 2007). Archived 16 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine Archived 17 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  180. ^ Voce, Steve "Obituary of Gordon Douglas Lusher", The Independent, London, 7 July 2006.
  181. ^ Biography of Paul Nicholas Internet Movie Database (Retrieved 24 April 2007).
  182. ^ Montalbano, Dan "The city of Hereward the Wake", The Independent, London, 31 August 2006.
  183. ^ "X Factor: Aston Merrygold and The JLS journey", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 27 October 2008.
  184. ^ Patrick, Neil "Obituary of Edmund Hockridge: Canadian actor and singer whose life story read like the script of a musical", The Guardian, London and Manchester, 18 March 2009.
  185. ^ Adrian Lyne, IMDB
  186. ^ Reinis, Nick "Luke lands a skate role in E4's Skins", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 22 January 2009.
  187. ^ "Inside out: Health Check – Sarah Cawood (Features)", Liverpool Daily Post, 3 February 2004.
  188. ^ "Peterborough's famous faces", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 4 August 2009.
  189. ^ Kirby, Terry "Author in a Spot of Bother for 'horrible' view of Peterborough", The Independent, London, 31 August 2006.
  190. ^ Pearson, Mark "Teaching via the Internet", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 7 October 2005 (facsimile of p.23 from the Brian J. Ford Website. Retrieved 24 April 2007).
  191. ^ Muir, Jonny "Five are honoured with freedom nominations", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 4 October 2007.
  192. ^ Nine people to receive Freedom of City in cathedral ceremony, Peterborough City Council, 29 February 2008.
  193. ^ Briggs, S. (1 November 2011). "Tributes: How Sir Jimmy Savile fixed it for good causes in Peterborough". Peterborough Telegraph. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  194. ^ Terry Wiles: Man's Estate - a BBC East documentary from 1980 profiling the life of thalidomide sufferer Terry Wiles - East Anglian Film Archive
  195. ^ The Terry Wiles Website
  196. ^ Profile for David Bentley ESPNsoccernet (Retrieved 27 May 2007).
  197. ^ Player Information for Matthew Etherington Football Database (Retrieved 24 April 2007).
  198. ^ Player Information for Simon Davies Football Database (Retrieved 18 August 2008).
  199. ^ "David Seaman factfile", The Guardian, London and Manchester, 14 January 2004.
  200. ^ "Motorcycle ace Craig Jones has died", Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 4 August 2008.
  201. ^ "Smith wins historic bronze for GB", BBC News Online, 17 August 2008.
  202. ^ Brown, Chris State of the Environment Report 1998 Chapter 11: Physical Background (pp.305–306) Cambridgeshire County Council (Retrieved 19 July 2007).
  203. ^ "1990 Temperature". Tutiempo. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  204. ^ "2012 Temperature". Tutiempo. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  205. ^ "Wittering 1981-2010 averages".  
  206. ^ Brown (p.301).
  207. ^ Brown (p.304).
  208. ^ The City of Peterborough (Electoral Changes) Order 2003 (SI 2003/161) and The City of Peterborough (Electoral Changes) (Amendment) Order 2004 (SI 2004/721), see Boundary Committee for England report to the Electoral Commission Final Recommendations on the Future Electoral Arrangements for Peterborough, 9 July 2002.
  209. ^ Clegg, William General Review of Parliamentary Constituency boundaries in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (archived copy as at 17 May 2009 from the UK Government Web Archive) Assistant Commissioner's report to the Chairman and Members of the Boundary Commission for England, 18 March 2004 and Final Recommendations for Parliamentary Constituencies in the Counties of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (archived copy as at 17 May 2009 from the UK Government Web Archive) Boundary Commission for England, 19 January 2005.
  210. ^ Britain, David Surviving Estuary English: Innovation diffusion, koineisation and local dialect differentiation in the English Fenland Essex Research Reports in Linguistics, vol.41 (pp.74–103) University of Essex, Department of Language and Linguistics, 2002.
  211. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  212. ^ Town Twinning – International Links Peterborough City Council (Retrieved 24 April 2007).



Bourges and Forlì are also twinned with each other. The city also has more informal friendship links with Foggia, Italy; Kwe Kwe, Zimbabwe; Pécs, Hungary; and all Peterboroughs around the world.[212] The county of Cambridgeshire has been twinned with Kreis Viersen, Germany since 1983.

Town twinning started in Europe after the Second World War. Its purpose was to promote friendship and greater understanding between the people of different European cities. A twinning link is a formal, long-term friendship agreement involving co-operation between two communities in different countries and endorsed by both local authorities. The two communities organise projects and activities around a range of issues and develop an understanding of historical, cultural, lifestyle similarities and differences. Peterborough is twinned with the following municipalities:


Peterborough lies in the middle of several distinct regional accent groups and as such has a hybrid of Fenland East Anglian, East Midland and London Estuary English features. The city falls just north of the A vowel isogloss and as such most native speakers will use the flat A, as found in cat, in words such as last. Yod-dropping is often heard from Peterborians, as in the rest of East Anglia, for example new as /nuː/. However, the large number of newcomers has impacted greatly on the English spoken by the younger generation. Common so-called Estuary English features such as L-vocalisation, T glottalisation and Th-fronting give today's Peterborough accent a definite south-eastern sound.[210]


These are further arranged into 24 electoral wards for the purposes of local government.[208] 15 wards comprise the Peterborough constituency for elections to the House of Commons, while the remaining nine fall within the North West Cambridgeshire constituency.[209]

Surrounding villages in the district
Civil parishes do not cover the whole of England and mostly exist in rural hinterland. They are usually administered by parish councils which have various local responsibilities.
AilsworthBaintonBarnackBorough FenCastorDeeping GateEttonEyeEye GreenGlintonHelpstonMarholmMaxeyNewboroughNorthboroughPeakirkSouthorpeSt. Martin's WithoutSuttonThorneyThornhaughUffordUptonWansfordWitteringWothorpe

Urban areas of the city
Townships are in bold type. In addition to the surrounding villages, Bretton, Orton Longueville and Orton Waterville are parished. The city council also works closely with Werrington neighbourhood association which operates on a similar basis to a parish council.
BrettonDogsthorpeEastfieldEastgateFengateFlettonGunthorpeThe HamptonsLongthorpeMillfieldNethertonNewarkNew EnglandThe OrtonsParnwellPastonRavensthorpeStangroundWaltonWerringtonWest TownWestwoodWoodston

East Anglia is most notable for being almost flat. During the Ice Age much of the region was covered by ice sheets and this has influenced the topography and nature of the soils.[206] Much of Cambridgeshire is low-lying, in some places below present-day mean sea level.[207] The lowest point on land is supposedly just to the south of the city at Holme Fen, which is 2.75 metres (9 ft) below sea level. The largest of the many settlements along the Fen edge, Peterborough has been called the Gateway to the Fens. Before they were drained the Fens were liable to periodic flooding so arable farming was limited to the higher areas of the Fen edge, with the rest of the Fenland dedicated to pastoral farming. In this way, the mediaeval and early modern Fens stood in contrast to the rest of southern England, which was primarily arable. Since the advent of modern drainage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the Fens have been radically transformed such that arable farming has almost entirely replaced pastoral. The unitary authority extends west to the settlements of Wothorpe and Wittering and east beyond Thorney into the Fens, and it includes the Ortons, south of the River Nene. It borders Northamptonshire to the west, Lincolnshire to the north, and the Cambridgeshire districts of Fenland and Huntingdonshire to the south and east. The city centre is located at 52°35'N latitude 0°15'W longitude or Ordnance Survey national grid reference TL 185 998.

River Nene from Frank Perkins Parkway.


Climate data for Wittering, 84m asl, 1981-2010 (Weather station 8 miles NW of Peterborough)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.8
Average low °C (°F) 1.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 48.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 63.8 82.9 113.1 156.4 196.5 191.6 204.3 192.3 146.8 115.5 73.8 58.9 1,596
Source: Met Office[205]

According to the Köppen classification the British Isles experience a maritime climate characterised by relatively cool summers and mild winters. Compared with other parts of the country, East Anglia is slightly warmer and sunnier in the summer and colder and frostier in the winter. Owing to its inland position, furthest from the landfall of most Atlantic depressions, Cambridgeshire is one of the driest counties in the UK, receiving, on average, around 600 mm (2 ft) of rain per year. Relative to the rest of the UK, the Peterborough area is sunnier than many places, with annual totals averaging nearly 1,600 hours a year.[202] The Met Office weather station at Wittering, within the unitary authority of Peterborough, recorded a maximum temperature of 35.1 °C (95.2 °F) in August 1990.[203] The lowest temperature in recent years was −13.4 °C (7.9 °F) during February 2012.[204]



In the sporting world, Tottenham Hotspur and England footballer, David Bentley, was born in the city;[196] and Stoke City midfielder, Matthew Etherington, started his career in the youth academy at Peterborough United;[197] in the same team was Simon Davies, with whom Etherington made a joint transfer to Tottenham Hotspur.[198] Former England goalkeeper, David Seaman, also first began to make a name for himself while at the club.[199] Motorcycle racer, Craig Jones, lived in city until his death after a high-speed crash at Brands Hatch;[200] as does Louis Smith, who at the 2008 games became Great Britain's first gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal in a century.[201]

Other media personalities include actors Simon Bamford, known for the 'Hellraiser' franchise, Adrian Lyne, Oscar nominated director of Fatal Attraction,[185] Oscar Jacques, known for playing Tom Tupper in the CBBC Series M.I. High, Luke Pasqualino, known for his roles in Skins and The Musketeers;[186] television presenter, Sarah Cawood, who grew up in Maxey;[187] BBC Formula One presenter, Jake Humphrey;[188] football journalist and Talksport radio presenter, Adrian Durham;[189] and the biologist, author and broadcaster, Prof. Brian J. Ford, who attended the King's School and still lives in Eastrea near Whittlesey.[190] Local businessman, Peter Boizot, founder of the Pizza Express restaurant chain and Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, has supported the cultural and sporting life of Peterborough and received its highest accolade, the freedom of the city.[191][192] Jimmy Savile lived in Peterborough in the early 1990s.[193] The thalidomide victim Terry Wiles, subject of the 1979 film On Giant's Shoulders, was born in the town.[194][195]

Musicians include Sir BBC Big Band;[179] Don Lusher, trombonist and former professor of the Royal College of Music and the Royal Marines School of Music;[180] Paul Nicholas, actor and singer;[181] Keith Palmer, better known as Maxim Reality, MC with dance act The Prodigy[182]Graham 'Gizz' Butt, who played live guitar with The Prodigy, lives in the area and Aston Merrygold of The X Factor (Series 5) runners-up (and Brit Award 2010 British Breakthrough Act) JLS.[183] Comedian Ernie Wise lived on Thorpe Avenue for many years, next door to Canadian baritone and actor Edmund Hockridge.[184]

The utilitarian philosopher, Dr. Richard Cumberland, was 14th Lord Bishop of Peterborough from 1691 until his death in 1718;[173] and Norfolk-born nurse and humanitarian, Edith Cavell, who received part of her education at Laurel Court in the Minster Precinct, is commemorated by a plaque in the Cathedral and by the name of the hospital.[174] Two prominent historical figures were born locally, Hereward the Wake, an outlaw who led resistance to the Norman Conquest and now lends his name to several places and businesses in the city;[175] and St. John Payne, one of the group of prominent Catholics martyred between 1535 and 1679 and later designated the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, who was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonised with the other 39 by Pope Paul VI in 1970.[176]

Peterborough is the birthplace of many notable people, including the astronomer novas and comets;[167] John Clare, from Helpston, now considered to be one of the most important poets of the nineteenth century;[168] artist, Christopher Perkins – brother of Frank;[169] and Sir Henry Royce, 1st Baronet of Seaton, engineer and co-founder of Rolls-Royce.[170] Physician, actor and author, "Sir" John Hill, credited with 76 separate works in the Dictionary of National Biography, the most valuable of which dealing with botany, is also said to have been born here.[171] The socialist writer and illustrator, Frank Horrabin, who was born in the city, was elected its member of parliament in 1929.[172]

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (1520–1598), in Garter robes.[166]


Southey Wood, once included in the Royal Forest of Rockingham, is a mixed woodland maintained by the Forestry Commission between the villages of Upton and Ufford.[162] Nearby, Castor Hanglands, Barnack Hills and Holes and Bedford Purlieus national nature reserves are each sites of special scientific interest.[163][164] In 2002 the Hills and Holes, one of Natural England's 35 spotlight reserves, was designated a special area of conservation as part of the Natura 2000 network of sites throughout the European Union.[165]

The Nene Park, which opened in 1978, covers a site 3.5 miles (5.6 km) long, from slightly west of Castor to the centre of Peterborough. The park has three lakes, one of which houses a watersports centre. Ferry Meadows, one of the major destinations and attractions signposted on the Green Wheel, occupies a large portion of Nene Park. Orton Mere provides access to the east of the park.[161]

The Nene Valley Railway, a 7.5-mile (12 km) heritage railway, includes one of the last passenger lines to fall under the Beeching Axe. In 1974 the former development corporation bought the line, running from the city centre to Yarwell Junction just west of Wansford, via Orton Mere and the 500 acre (202 ha) Ferry Meadows country park, and leased it to the Peterborough Railway Society.[160] Railworld is a railway museum located beside Peterborough Nene Valley railway station.

Flag Fen, the Bronze Age archaeological site, was discovered in 1982 when a team led by Dr. Francis Pryor carried out a survey of dykes in the area. Probably religious, it comprises a large number of poles arranged in five long rows, connecting Whittlesey with Peterborough across the wet fenland. The museum exhibits many of the artefacts found, including what is believed to be the oldest wheel in Britain. An exposed section of the Roman road known as the Fen Causeway also crosses the site.[159]

Longthorpe Tower, a 14th-century three-storey tower and fortified manor house in the care of English Heritage, is situated about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of the city centre. It is a scheduled monument, and contains the finest and most complete set of domestic paintings of their period in Northern Europe.[157] Nearby Thorpe Hall is one of the few mansions built in the Commonwealth period. A maternity hospital from 1943 to 1970, it was acquired by the Sue Ryder Foundation in 1986 and is currently in use as a hospice.[158]

Burghley House to the north of Peterborough, near Stamford, was built and mostly designed by Sir William Cecil, later 1st Baron Burghley, who was Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign.[154] The country house, with a park laid out by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the 18th century, is one of the principal examples of 16th-century English architecture.[155] The estate, still home to his descendants, hosts the Burghley Horse Trials, an annual three-day event. Another Grade I listed building, Milton Hall near Castor, ancestral home of the Barons and later Earls Fitzwilliam, also dates from the same period. For two centuries following the restoration the city was a pocket borough of this family.[156]

Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, built in 1816, housed the city's first infirmary from 1857 to 1928. The museum has a collection of some 227,000 objects, including local archaeology and social history, from the products of the Roman pottery industry to Britain's oldest known murder victim; a collection of marine fossil remains from the Jurassic period of international importance; the manuscripts of John Clare, the Northamptonshire Peasant Poet as he was commonly known in his own time;[153] and the Norman Cross collection of items made by French prisoners of war. These prisoners were kept at Norman Cross on the outskirts of Peterborough from 1797 to 1814, in what is believed to be the world's first purpose built prisoner of war camp. The art collection contains an impressive variety of paintings, prints and drawings dating from the 1600s to the present day. Peterborough Museum also holds regular temporary exhibitions, weekend events and guided tours.

Peterscourt on City Road was designed by Sir London Guildhall following war damage.[150] Nearby Touthill, the site of a castle bailey, is a scheduled monument.[11] The city has a large Victorian park containing formal gardens, children's play areas, an aviary, bowling green, tennis courts, pitch and putt course and tea rooms. The park has been awarded the Green Flag Award, the national standard for parks and green spaces, by the Civic Trust.[151] The Lido, a striking building with elements of art deco design, was opened in 1936 and is one of the few survivors of its type still in use.[152]

The general layout of Peterborough is attributed to Martin de Vecti who, as abbot from 1133 to 1155, rebuilt the settlement on dry limestone to the west of the monastery, rather than the often-flooded marshlands to the east. Abbot Martin was responsible for laying out the market place and the wharf beside the river. Peterborough's 17th-century Guildhall was built in 1671 by John Lovin, who also restored the bishop's palace shortly after the restoration of King Charles II. It stands on columns, providing an open ground floor for the butter and poultry markets which used to be held there. The Market Place was renamed Cathedral Square and the adjacent Gates Memorial Fountain moved to Bishop's Road Gardens in 1963, when the (then weekly) market was transferred to the site of the old cattle market.[149]

The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Andrew, whose statues look down from the three high gables of the West Front, was originally founded as a monastery in AD 655 and re-built in its present form between 1118 and 1238. It has been the seat of the Bishop of Peterborough since the diocese was created in 1541, when the last abbot was made the first bishop and the abbot's house was converted into the episcopal palace.[10] Peterborough Cathedral is one of the most intact large Norman buildings in England and is renowned for its imposing early English Gothic West Front which, with its three enormous arches, is without architectural precedent and with no direct successor. The cathedral has the distinction of having had two queens buried beneath its paving: Katherine of Aragon and Mary, Queen of Scots. The remains of Queen Mary were removed to Westminster Abbey by her son James I when he became King of England.[16]

Longthorpe Tower (1310), a Grade I listed building.


Peterborough has been used as a location for various television programmes and films. The 1982 BBC production of The Barchester Chronicles was filmed largely in and around Peterborough. In 1983 opening scenes for the 13th 007 film, Octopussy, starring Sir Roger Moore, were filmed at Orton Mere. A music video for the song BreakThru by the band Queen was also shot on the preserved Nene Valley Railway in 1989. In 1995 Pierce Brosnan filmed train crash sequences for the 17th James Bond film, GoldenEye, at the former sugar beet factory. A scene for the film The Da Vinci Code was filmed at Burghley House during five weeks secret filming in 2006; and actor, Lee Marvin, found himself camping in Ferry Meadows during the filming of The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission in 1985.[147] In October 2008 Hollywood returned to Wansford for the filming of the musical Nine, starring Penélope Cruz and Daniel Day-Lewis.[148]

[146] in 1914.Riot Act, founder of what would become the East Midland Allied Press, was perhaps the last person to read the JP Richard Winfrey As 33rd Mayor of Peterborough, Sir [145]

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