Peterborough - The History Behind The City. Part 1

Where do you start ..........


the history of a City which dates back well over 1000 years.

I guess like every good story you start at the very beginning.

One of the most striking buildings in the City of Peterborough for me has to be the Guild Hall. Built in what was originally the Market square area of the Saxon village of Medehamstead.

Around the year 655 an Abbey was built next to the village. In 870 the village was destroyed by the Danes who were marauding throughout the country. It was then left abandoned until the year 972 when a new Abbey was built. Then in the time around 1000AD a wall was finally built around the Abbey to again protect it from the Danes. This fortified site now became St Peters Burgh which means exactly that, a fortified site in Saxon language. Hence the modern name of Peterborough.

The Abbot of the new Abbey allowed a Market to be sited there and from thereon in the City of Peterborough began to develop.

In 1070 an army of Danes came to East Anglia in an attempt to overthrow William the Conqueror. During this visit the town was burned to the ground. This did not stop the town from being rebuilt though and it recovered to become even stronger.

The site of the Abbey and the town was eventually moved from the east of the Abbey to the West because in 1116 it was destroyed yet again by fire.

As a result of this the Abbot at the time laid out new streets around the Abbey and a market place. We know this because of the modern day street names of Cowgate, Preistgate, Cumbergate etc as the names are derived from the Danish word for street meaning Gata.

The Guildhall. Built 1671

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So what happened after the town was established ?

.........find out in Part II of this series what happened after the Abbey and the town was established. We will look at Medieval Peterborough.

Peterborough Cathedral

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West front

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Comments 15 comments

Peaceful life profile image

Peaceful life 5 years ago from Las vegas

good informative hub, i like history and geographical information,


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire Author

Thanks PL check back sometime as there will be more installments.BTW thanks for the follow. I intend checking out your work also.


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

This is a great hub for our history. You did a great job writing this and wonderful photos.


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire Author

Oh thanks W20. Keep following and I will give you lots more history on my adopted home town of the last 13 years.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Very interesting. The Cathedral and West Front are amazing. Thank you....


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Great hub! I like ready about the history of different places. The cathedrals truly wonderful.


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire Author

There is lots more to come Thanks GRL


funmontrealgirl profile image

funmontrealgirl 5 years ago from Montreal

What a great little city. Would love to see the charming Peterborough one day with my own eyes. Voted up and awesome. :)


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire Author

Thanks FMG for your votes and comments. It is appreciated.


Bella Nina profile image

Bella Nina 5 years ago from USA

Beautiful, loved the history and the beautiful photos!


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire Author

Thanks Bella for your comment. Drop by anytime.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

.....always appreciate a good history lesson especially from a world class historian such as yourself - thank you for taking the time to put this together - and may I recommend two other great history buffs - Alastar Packer and Hello Hello

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poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire Author

Thanks epigramman. Already know AP. Will visit HH though.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 4 years ago from UK

I've never visited Peterborough, so thanks for the visit! Fab cathedral, Guildhall is impressive too.


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire Author

Judi Bee, I keep meaning to do 2nd part but always do something else instead. Thanks for commenting.

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