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Peterborough History, United Kingdom


Peterborough, UK - History: A City Of Great Repute

Peterborough is one of the well-known cities in United Kingdom. It lies in the county of Cambridgeshire on the river Nene. This city is highly modernized, but has a very old history to it and this can very well be understood from the presence of the many historic sites in the city.

The history of Peterborough can be traced back to the seventh century. However, excavations have revealed that there were settlements even during the pre-historic times. Like many other towns and cities that exist in the United Kingdom, this city also began as a Saxon village, which was known as Medehamstede (meant meadow homestead). The Saxons had built an abbey next to the village, but it was destroyed completely by the Dane. A new abbey was once again built by the Saxons, and a village came up near the abbey. Around 1000 AD, a wall was built around the village to prevent it from the attacks of the Danes. The wall was called St. Peters burgh, where the word burgh was a Saxon word that meant fortified settlement. This is how the city came to be known as Peterborough.

During the Middle Ages, the main industry that thrived in Peterborough was wool weaving. The fairs that used to be held in the town used to attract people from different places of the kingdom, who came to trade in the town. The 12th century saw the building of a hospital for lepers outside Peterborough. During the Middle Ages, the Church of St. John the Baptist, and the Longthorpe Tower also came up.

It was only in the 16th century that Peterborough attained the status of a city. Wool manufacture continued to be the main industry in the city, however malting and manufacture of clay pipes were also noticed during the 17th century.

In the 18th century, there were no major industries in Peterborough. However towards the end of that century, it was noticed that the city prospered and also grew in its population. The population continued growing rapidly in the 19th century. Many industries came up in that century, which included among others an elastic webbing industry. An iron foundry was also opened around the same time. With the introduction of railway in 1845, the population growth increased manifold.

The beginning of the 20th century saw the emergence of new industries like tool making and corset making. Towards the end of the 20th century, it was noticed that the industries in Peterborough included farm machinery, electrical equipment, tile and brick making and diesel engines. The population of the city also increased considerably during the period.

Peterborough is right now considered to be a highly modern city and definitely has a rich history behind it.

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