In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Peterborough like this:
Peterborough, parl. and mun. bor. and city, partly in Huntingdonshire, but chiefly in Northamptonshire, on river Nen, at NW. boundary of Cambridgeshire, 43 miles NE. of Northampton and 76 N. of London by rail - mun. bor., 1818 ac., pop. 21,228; parl. bor., 6588 ac., pop. 22,394; 4 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-day, Saturday. Peterborough was called Medehamstede by the Saxons until 970, and had its rise in the founding of a monastery (656), destroyed by the Danes in 870, and afterwards rebuilt. ...
Upon its destruction by fire in 1116 the present cathedral was commenced, but was not completed till early in the 16th century. The cathedral is a noble edifice, its west front being unsurpassed by any other in the kingdom. A thorough restoration of the building was commenced in 1884. Among other buildings in the town may be mentioned the town hall, corn exchange, and county court offices. The educational institutions include a training college for church schoolmasters, a grammar school, and middle class school. Peterborough is an important railway centre, being connected with the Great Northern Railway, and branches of the Great Western, London and North-Western, and Midland Railways. It is the centre of a great agricultural district, and its markets for corn and fat stock, and fairs for cattle, horses, sheep, &c., are of considerable importance. Trade is carried on in malt, coal, and timber. Agricultural implements are manufactured. The bor. was incorporated in 1874. It returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members until 1885.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Peterborough has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Peterborough. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Peterborough and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Peterborough in Northamptonshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 20th December 2014
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