Monday, 15 November 2010

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

Peterborough market square GJC_021457

Peterborough is a cathedral city on the east of England that was unusually designated as a new town during the late 1960s and probably views itself as a shopping centre.

Although evidence of settlements date back to The Bronze age and Roman times, a monastery was built here in the Anglo Saxon era and was originally known as Medeshamstede (Meadow homestead).  Abbot Kenulf decided to build a protective wall around the monastery during the 10th century as the previous one was destroyed by the Danes. He had no idea that his master plan was eventually going to be dwarfed by a Starbucks coffee shop !! ( see above picture). The name developed at this particular point in history to St Peters Burgh and eventually developed into the current name of Peterborough.

Cathedral GJC_027468_edited-1 - Version 2

The current Cathedral, originally known as an Abbey was built during the 12th and 13th centuries and later survived English civil war and Henry VIII activities.

Cathedral Door GJC_021355_edited-1 (1)
The big man closed the door in 1539 and re-opened it 2 years later as a Cathedral

Door GJC_021358
Escape door from the Civil War action 

One of the more unusual facts is that despite Mary Queen of Scots rearing her head everywhere, the Cathedral was her final resting place in 1587.

Guildhall GJC_027458

Wet Square GJC_027467
Wet Square

The Guildhall built in the square in 1671 was used as a courtroom and parliamentary election location. I hope they didn't get the activities mixed up on the appropriate days... well some would argue that they are all criminals anyway !!.......

The town was originally famous for weaving wool and later the manufacture of bricks, the arrival of the railway in 1850 ensured that the products were distributed around England. The railway station was a blessing in disguise as the current journey time to London from here is only 50 minutes.  Without giving too many personal views about the shops that i saw, the place seemed a little empty and I can guess where all the people were !

Town Hall GJC_021376_edited-1 (1)

The town hall council building built in 1930 is in one of the shopping streets which is additionally used as a party function venue....

Town Hall window GJC_021375
Council Taxes and party prices are looking up, err or this that .... look like going up !

Archway GJC_IMG_0172

That's too much for one day so it's time to close the door on the history lesson for for one day and look for more interesting J_on_tour things....

 I take a step back and take a look at Abbot Kenulfs work from the other side and I'm struck with something weird to the the right....

Cycle pots GJC_IMG_0168

I looked at this for a long time as had me puzzled. At first it seemed like that no bicycles were allowed to be attached to it as there are red rings around the wheels but then I realised the opposite may be true. Then again why would they want to risk hiding or potentially damaging some nice shrubs. It looks like the local cyclists don't know what it's about either as it's an empty parking space.
While I am talking about exercise and sporting activities, I forgot to mention that on my walk back from the Nene Valley railway, I noticed some water sports on the river....

Surfing bird !! GJC_IMG_0143
Surfing on the River Nene !!

After my history description in the development of Peterborough, it seemed that the city was still in the process of construction......

Building site GJC_IMG_0188_edited-1

... and lastly, Henry VIII gains his place in Peterborough's history on the Pizza Express building in the square, how apt !!  Not that he was a famous Pizza manufacturer .... but rather ..... it looks like the big man might have been a valued customer !!.....

Henry VIII's Pizzas GJC_IMG_0186
Extra cheese, please !


  1. I really enjoy your photography. I like the pics of the Abbey. Thanks for also sharing the history.

  2. Got a chuckle out of that last photo and caption! Seems that Henry had an appetite for extra of everything. The caption 'Surfing on the River Nene' - is that a photograph?? That is so cool. That would be great to hang on a wall. Love that 'horizontal' window shot. And I just can't get over all the amazing buildings there that I'd love to visit. Living in a country that was just getting itself organized <250 years ago, I'm in awe of the timeline over there! Thank you so much for this post. I love the history lesson!!

  3. I just love your pictures of all the old buildings and your history lessons. So beautiful and so informative!
    They need to put clearer signs on the bicycle boxes since no one seems to know what they are for.

  4. Very informative, indeed! The photo with the seagull looks great. You grabbed a good opportunity! Congratulations1

  5. You get better every post. So much information and gratefully received. Surfing on the Nene is great, right up my street or should that be river.

  6. history is always fascinating.
    thanks for sharing

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Hi folks. I think the 'surfing on the Nene' is an optical illusion here - the bird is standing in the shallows. However, it does indeed run on water.

    We have two similar waterbirds over here, the Coot and the Moorhen. The moorhen has a red bill, whereas the Coot's is pure white. When disturbed the Coot prefers to run away on top of the water. There is a brief example in the 'Meadow's Way' video below at around 1 min 54 sec.

    Call in and see us if you are ever over here!
    Best wishes.
    Capt. Bob

    (apologies for double posting - the original link failed)

  9. You have so many beautiful historical buildings in your country. I really like these pictures.
    Have a nice week:)

  10. Another interesting in depth posting- enjoyed very much.

  11. Today is Monday!
    The breaks from my old friend Mr. Wrangler was broken in the morning, the internet also...I start smoking in the car...the cigarettes in the ashtray were on fire...smoke all over...etc, etc...Now I am ok after one Monday ! Still Monday...ha ha
    I came here twice today from my mobile, (now again)
    to forget everything and to go inside your wonderful story with this timeless windows and doors...Thank you!
    No dog, my friend?
    I promise I will start learn English! Not on Monday, of course!

  12. i enjoyed your pics and the bird pic looks GOOD. i must learn from you.

  13. A lesson of history and travel. Fantastic! I like the pictures!

  14. It was interesting to see the photos of Peterborough as part of my family came from Alwalton Hunts which is not too far away from the city.

    Thanks again.

  15. Great photography and history. I like how you bring the past and present together, and I love that water shot.

  16. these structures are very impressive !
    we really feel the history in this place, thank you for this wonderful tour ! :)


  17. Oh God, I love the ancient buildings in your country!!! And the door? Amazing!

  18. Reading and looking at your entries/photos are like turning pages of a wonderful history/modern time books, a lot of new things to see and new very informative stories to read.

    It's like walking in a new world for me. :)

  19. For me your history lesson, accompanied by pictures has been very, very interesting, I find places with you I do not know!
    Have a good day!

  20. Love series like this that show the history and architecture of a place! But there's something just wrong about a Starbucks in such a grand building! :)

  21. Farmchick... Thanks, I try to photograph a variety of things. As essentially a travel journal, it has been difficult showing my photographic eye but I think regular readers will be getting a better idea of that now.

    Cranberry Morning... Thanks, I couldn't believe it when I saw Henry VIII in that location, it needed to be photographed. The bird is a real photograph with reflections of windows from a 1980s style riverside apartment block.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze... Thanks, It would be unfair to someone like yourself just to show a bunch of photographs. One of the problems with this in the UK is that some people accept these buildings and their history as normal.

    Travelling Hawk... Thanks, the seagull picture didn't look real when I was taking it.

    Adrian... Thanks, I had no idea what I was going to see or talk about when I arrived here. Always good to keep the eye wide open for opportunities. I'm stuck for once to reply to your good comment.

    Pharaonx... Thanks, I didn't like history when I was younger, I try to make it fun if possible.

    Poshboatz... Thanks for looking in, I always have to be careful what I say about a place as I never know which local person is about to jump down my neck. I think I got away with it again this time....only just. Nice Youtube clip by the way... maybe I should charge for advertising !

    Berit @ Bare builder... Thanks, It was a shame that the sun didn't shine in the afternoon following the morning railway visit. I have a few more cities to see during the winter that I have rail tickets for.

    Trevor Woodford... Thanks, I didn't know I was going to say this much, pleased you enjoyed it.

    Wind... Thanks. Sorry you had a bad morning. Hey, all that smoke in your car... it could be dangerous might not be able to see out of the window ... you might hit the car in front might hurt yourself.
    I too forget everything when I enter your blog. Why post a dog picture when I have Henry VIII !!! . Ah, today is friday and I travel this afternoon for the weekend...conference !!

    Lily Riani ... Thanks, Photography is a life long learning process, as with other arts and music, we learn and are influenced by others. I don't consider my photographs as anything special but I hope I can inspire you.

    TossanR... Thanks, pleased you enjoyed my journey through time and the city.

    Petrus... Thanks, It is not an area that I am too familiar with but I was pleased that it was easily accessible to me. Some cities are a bit nondescript but there were a few items of interest here that I think I managed to highlight.

    JoLynne Lyon... Thanks, It's nice to bring it alive, I feels like I was the only person in PB that wasn't thinking about shopping that day.

    Mahon... Thanks, It's sometimes difficult, but I try to find something unique about cities and towns .....or else they all might look the same here!! I'm was pleased to show you around.

    Vania Moreira... Thanks, pleased you liked it. As I said earlier, some people here accept this as normal, I think I have been inspired by you and all these other comments to continue my mission !!

    Rizalenio... Thanks, I am pleased you like my fusion of old and new. I am privileged to have the opportunity to do this for you.

    Sciarada... Thanks, pleased you enjoyed it. Many people do not know about the places I visit. Hopefully I can keep it interesting in the future, although all the blog posts just happen to be where i visit or what I do next.

    T. Becque... Thanks, the fusion of information here was interesting to write. I didn't even notice the architecture of Starbucks until I was on the other side of the square.... to quote a phrase used elsewhere in the comments, maybe I have created an optical illusion.

  22. What a nice city with this lovley architecture. The surfing bird pic is stunning! A lot of hugs from Luzia.

  23. Luzia... Thanks for your comment. I thought I was seeing things. Funnily enough it was taken under a railway bridge.. The London to Edinburgh line. Have a good week, J

  24. Nice repotage with these arquitectural photographs of Peterborough.
    I liked very much the photo about the surfing, it's like a play with colors, and you catched the colours of the day playing on water.Nice.

    Thanks for the report.

  25. Felisa... Thanks for your nice comments. As I had only been here once before, I could not remember what was here, apart from the Cathedral and the old building in the square.
    The bird picture was fun, even though some people didn't believe it was a real photograph.

  26. I'm a new visitor to your blog, and was drawn to your Peterborough post as I work next door to the Cathedral! There's been lots of changes such as the water fountains in front of the Guildhall, and huge works works going on to the outside of the Cathedral with ramps and new paving to make it a bit easier for people such as me who kept falling over. Lovely to see how much things have changed in a few years! Now off to see some more of your posts!


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