A curious mixture of the old
and new, the modern heart of the manufacturing and
commercial centre of Peterborough is dominated by
a magnificent Norman cathedral which sits uneasily
amongst tower blocks, factories and retail
outlets. The glorious building with its
triple-arched west front was constructed on top of
an earlier abbey church in the 12th century.
Its predecessor was sacked by an unholy alliance involving Hereward the Wake and a band of Danes. Its high wooden roof is decorated with paintings dating back to the 13th century. Other structures of note include a 17th century Butter Cross, a 13th century tower containing the best preserved examples of English medieval wall paintings and the Church of St John the Baptist, built in the early 15th century with stone taken from Canterbury’s Chapel of St. Thomas.
The city itself has a remarkable and turbulent history. The Romans created the first major settlement here by creating a large fortress but archaeologists have found the remains of a thatched ‘hut’ dating from 3,700BC.