Back in Business.

Georgian Peterborough.

On the evening of Thursday, September 23rd two weeks later than originally planned and after the stress of finding a new temporary location and then finding a new speaker at the last minute, our first inside meeting went ahead after an enforced break of 18 months.

Our temporary home for the evening was St Andrews Reform Church in Netherton. This venue worked well being a church it was airy and spacious and more importantly, it had comfortable seats. 

Our speaker for the evening was Stuart Orme a historian well known in Peterborough who is now curator of the Cromwell Museum in Huntington. The subject of the talk was to be Georgian Peterborough. 

Stuart’s talk, with video images, was a fascinating insight into Peterborough’s Georgian past from between 1714 to 1837. Georgian Peterborough was overshadowed during this time by Stamford and the town is still is the finest Georgian Town in the country. Stamford was an important Mail Coach stop on the route from London to York and retains much of its historic Georgian buildings. Peterborough at that time was a similar size to Stamford being a Cathedral City but was more like a small market town and was overshadowed by Stamford. Today much of Peterborough’s Georgian buildings have either disappeared or been disguised under modern facades. 

Stuart went on to talk about the layout of the city and of Georgian buildings that were once there.  He showed us images of 18th-century paintings of Peterborough including one by the celebrated artist, Turner. He talked about the building of the large French Prisoner of War camp at Norman Cross that held prisoners numbers of  twice the size of the population of the City. He finished by telling us about some of the prominent people in Peterborough during that time including the poet, John Clare.

Georgian PeterboroughSo in conclusion Peterborough may have been a small Georgian town, still recovering from the latest plague incident that decimated half the population Stuart showed it was far from insignificant and a look into the archives reveals far more to the history of Peterborough during the Georgian Period.


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