Facts About Peterborough
Peterborough and its surrounding areas around have been inhabited for thousands of years because it is where permanently drained land in The Fens is created by the River Nene. Remains of Iron Age settlement and what is thought to be religious activity can be seen at the Flag Fen archaeological site to the east of the city centre. The Romans established a fortified garrison town at Durobrivae on Ermine Street, five miles (8.0 km) to the west in Water Newton, around the middle of the 1st century AD. Durobrivae’s earliest appearance among surviving records is in the Antonine Itinerary of the late 2nd century. There was also a large 1st century Roman fort at Longthorpe, designed to house half a legion, or about 3,000 soldiers; it may have been established as early as around AD 44–48. Peterborough was an important area of ceramic production in the Roman period, providing Nene Valley Ware that was traded as far away as Cornwall and the Antonine Wall, Caledonia.
The city is 76 mi (122 km) north of London, on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea 30 mi (48 km) 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 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.