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Peterborough ( PEE-tər-bər-ə, -⁠burr-ə) is a cathedral city in the City of Peterborough district of Cambridgeshire, England. The city and its surroundings, the Soke of Peterborough, had an independent county council between 1889 and 1965. It formed part of the short-lived Huntingdon and Peterborough between 1965 and 1974. Before 1889, it was a liberty of Northamptonshire.

The city is 74 miles (119 km) north of London, on the River Nene which flows into The Wash 27 miles (43 km) to the north-east; the cathedral city of Ely is 24 miles (39 km) east-southeast across the Fens and the university city of Cambridge is 30 miles (48 km) to the southeast. 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 and to the south of Peterborough. Human settlement in the area began before the Bronze Age, as can be seen at the Flag Fen archaeological site to the east of the current city centre, also with evidence of Roman occupation. The Anglo-Saxon period saw the establishment of a monastery, Medeshamstede, which later became Peterborough Cathedral.

In 2020 the built-up area subdivision had an estimated population of 179,349. In 2021 the Unitary Authority area had a population of 215,671. The population grew rapidly after the railways along with industry, the town became known for brick manufacture, arrived in the 19th century. After the Second World War, industrial employment fell and growth was limited until its designation as a New Town in the 1960s. The town's main economic sectors are financial services and distribution.




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