Facts about Peterborough
Peterborough is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England, with a population of 202,110 in 2017. Historically part of Northamptonshire, it is 76 miles north of London, on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea 30 miles to the north-east. The local topography is flat, and in some places, the land lies below sea level, for example in parts of the Fens to the east of Peterborough.
The original name of the town was Medeshamstede. The town’s name changed to Burgh from the late tenth century, possibly after Abbot Kenulf had built a defensive wall around the abbey, and eventually developed into the form Peterborough; the town does not appear to have been a borough until the 12th century. The contrasting form Gildenburgh is also found in the 12th-century history of the abbey, the Peterborough version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and in a history of the abbey by the monk Hugh Candidus.
Hereward the Wake rampaged through the town in 1069 or 1070. Outraged, Abbot Turold erected a fort or castle, which, from his name, was called Mont Turold: this mound, or hill, is on the outside of the deanery garden, now called Tout Hill, although in 1848 Tot-hill or Toot Hill. The abbey church was rebuilt and greatly enlarged in the 12th century.