Peterborough is a cathedral city and unitary authority area in Cambridgeshire, England, with a population of 202,110 in 2017. Originally part of Northamptonshire, it became part of Cambridgeshire from 1974. The city is 76 miles north of London, on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea 30 miles to the north-east. The railway station is an important stop on the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh.
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. 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.
The population grew rapidly after the railways arrived in the 19th century, and Peterborough became an industrial centre, particularly known for its brick manufacture. After the Second World War, growth was limited until designation as a New Town in the 1960s.