Peterborough


Peterborough
/pee"teuhr berr'oh, -bur'oh, -beuhr euh/, n.
1. a city in Cambridgeshire, in central England. 115,000.
2. a city in SE Ontario, in SE Canada. 59,683.
3. Soke of /sohk/, a former administrative division in Cambridgeshire, in central England. 84 sq. mi. (218 sq. km).

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also spelled  Peterboro 

      town (township), Hillsborough county, southern New Hampshire, U.S., that lies at the confluence of the Contoocook and Nubanusit rivers. It includes the communities of Peterborough and West Peterborough. The site, granted in 1737 and named for Charles Mordaunt, 3rd earl of Peterborough, was permanently settled in 1749 and incorporated in 1760. The town became famous after the establishment of the MacDowell Colony there by Marian Nevins MacDowell and her husband, composer Edward Alexander MacDowell (MacDowell, Edward (Alexander)), in 1907. The colony has attracted numerous artists, including writers Stephen Vincent Benét (Benét, Stephen Vincent), Willa Cather (Cather, Willa), and Thornton Wilder (Wilder, Thornton). Magazine publishing, tourism, and some light manufacturing (ball bearings, baskets, and outdoor equipment and clothing) are the economic mainstays. Cultural institutions include the Sharon Arts Center; the Peterborough Players is a summer theatre company. Popular summer and winter recreational facilities include nearby Miller and Greenfield state parks; Temple Mountain has ski slopes. Area 38 square miles (98 square km). Pop. (1990) 5,239; (2000) 5,883.

 city, seat of Peterborough county, southeastern Ontario, Canada. It lies along the Otonabee River, 70 miles (115 km) east-northeast of Toronto. In 1821 Adam Scott founded a sawmill and gristmill at the site, which became known as Scott's Plains. In 1825 almost 2,000 Irish immigrants settled there, and the town and county were renamed for the group's director, Peter Robinson. Peterborough became a commercial and manufacturing centre for the surrounding area and a tourist centre for the Kawartha Lakes region. The canalization of the Otonabee River as part of the Trent Canal system provided a direct link with Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay by means of the world's highest hydraulic (hydraulic power) lift lock (1904), 65 feet (20 metres). Peterborough's manufactures include electrical appliances and machinery, boats and marine equipment, hardware, lumber, watches, and food products. The city is the site of Trent University (founded 1963) and of Sir Sandford Fleming College of Applied Arts and Technology. Inc. 1905. Pop. (2006) 74,898.

▪ city and unitary authority, England, United Kingdom
      city and unitary authority, geographic county of Cambridgeshire, England. At the core of the city and unitary authority is a historic region called the Soke of Peterborough (Peterborough, Soke of), which encompasses the original town of Peterborough and an area extending west between the Rivers Welland and Nene; the Soke of Peterborough is part of the historic county of Northamptonshire. The city and unitary authority also embrace an area to the east, around Thorney, within the historic county of Cambridgeshire, and an area south of the Nene, within the historic county of Huntingdonshire.

      Peterborough lies along the River Nene, which is navigable for small vessels to and from the North Sea. It also lies on the margin, or “shoreline,” of the Fens, a low-lying area of peat and silt, which was for many centuries intermediate between land and sea but which was drained and reclaimed between the 17th and the 19th centuries. Today the Fens is an area of great fertility and massive agricultural output, and a number of the region's products are processed in Peterborough's factories.

      The flat city site is dominated by St. Peter's Cathedral, a structure begun in 1118 and consecrated in 1238. It is in part a good example of Late Norman style; but it was added to in virtually every succeeding architectural period, and the total effect is discordant. The cathedral contains the Hedda Stone, an Anglo-Saxon sculpture some 1,200 years old, and the tomb of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. Apart from the cathedral, gatehouses, and the Church of St. John (1407), there are few other buildings of interest.

      The draining of the Fens, the coming of the railway, and the development of some of England's largest brickworks on the south bank of the Nene contributed to Peterborough's 19th-century growth. In the mid-20th century its designation as an expanded town led to further substantial growth. Situated on the main London-Edinburgh railway at a point of junction with cross-country routes, it is a choice location, particularly for warehousing and distributing trades.

      Under the expanded town plan, the formerly concentrated city was surrounded by a ring of dispersed suburban communities linked by fast motor routes. The city and unitary authority, which stretch 20 miles (32 km) from east to west and some 8 miles (13 km) from north to south, also include extensive wooded and rural areas. Area 132 square miles (343 square km). Pop. (2005 est.) 159,700.

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Universalium. 2010.