Peterborough is both the name of a unitary authority and the city which comprises most of it, in the east of central England. It was founded by the Romanss in 43 AD. Peterborough Cathedral is one of the most notable mediaeval cathedrals in Britain. It lies within the Lord-Lieutenancy of Cambridgeshire, and the administrative county of Peterborough.
The old town was originally entirely within Northamptonshire, part of a special region known as the Soke of Peterborough, but post-industrial urban growth expanded into Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. In 1889 the Soke was made a seperate county, but it was considered too small, and was merged with Huntingdonshire in 1965 to form Peterborough and Huntingdonshire. From 1974 until it became a unitary authority in 1998 it was part of Cambridgeshire.
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2 Modern Day Peterborough
3 External links
Peterborough (Burgh, Burgus sancti Petri) is proved by its original name Medehamstede 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 minister, 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).
Historically 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, 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.
The 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. Peterborough sent two members to parliament for the first time in 1547.
Modern Day Peterborough
Designated a "New Town" in 1968, "Peterborough Development Corporation" was formed in partnership with the city council to double the city's population by building new townships and "parkways" (roads with few access points). During the period between 1971 and 1991, Peterborough's population grew by 45.4%.
Peterborough has a business airfield with a paved runway at Conington and a recreational airfield hosting a well-known parachute school at Sibson. It remains an important railway junction where passengers from the "Joint Line" to Lincoln, a commuter service from London via Hitchin, or cross-country routes between Birmingham and Stansted may change to or from high-speed trains serving the East Coast Main Line. These latter trains link Kings Cross with destinations in Yorkshire, the north east of England or Scotland.
Today Peterborough is a multi-cultural city, with significant Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Italian communities. The City has an estimated population of just under 157,000 with the estimated population of the entire Greater Peterborough area being well over half a million.
Districts within the City of Peterborough