Information on the following plaques can be found on this page, please click on the relevant picture.

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Langdyke Bush

Parish Burial Ground

198 Park Road

Peter Brotherhood

Peterscourt

RAF Peterborough
Officer's Mess

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Salvation Army Citadel

Sessions House

St John the Baptist Church

St Thomas a Becket Chapel

Stuart House

The Barracks
(G N Cottages)

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Theatre Royal

Thorpe Hall

Town Bridge

Victorian Railway
Engine

 

 

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Langdyke Bush

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The new Magistrates' court was officially opened on 22 March 1978 by Her Majesty The Queen. It replaced the former Sessions House in Thorpe Road. The building contains six courtrooms and the final design was completed by the County Architect of Cambridgeshire County Council. In the Reception Hall is a plque which refers to the ancient jurisdiction which formerly existed in this area and which was exercised at an open-air court at Langdyke Bush, nearly 2 miles south of Helptson. The Abbots of Peterborough gradually accumulated, between the 10th and 14th centuries, not only various legal powers, but also freedoms from Crown jurisdiction. The Abbots of Peterborough therefore gained almost absolute legal jurisdiction over eight of the administrative 'Hundreds' in Northamptonshire. This lasted until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. This history line is continued on our Sessions House plaque.

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Parish Burial Ground

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This plaque has been replaced with one of our Blue Plaques in April 2017 so the images displayed here are for historical reference only regarding the development of our plaques programme. To read the history our plaque commemorates please see our Parish Burial Ground blue plaque entry by clicking here. To return to this page please use the back button on your browser.

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198 Park Road

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The unique house which formerly stood on this site was built in 1891 for Henry Hicks, a local builder and brick company director. In 1897 it became the High School for Girls, a private school run by Miss Mary Florence "May" Hill with the help of her sister Annie. Miss Annie died in 1907 and Miss May continued the school, which rapidly gained acclaim and success, until she retired in 1919 in favour of Miss Amy Mansfield. The school closed at the end of the Easter term, 1935, but was later re-established at Westwood House, Thorpe Road, when Miss Helen Belgion became Headmistress. After the school vacated 198 Park Road it became the Managers Office for the Peterborough District of the Post Office Telephone Service. The building remained in use by the Telephone Service until the early 1980's. In 1987/88 the present block of flats was built on the site and named after William Daniel Nichols, tenant of the house 1892-1897, and Director of the Peterborough Land Company Limited who constructed Park Road.

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Peter Brotherhood

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Between 1907 and 1994 the engineering company Peter Brotherhood Limited occupied this 25 acre site, employing up to 4,000 people, designing and manufacturing equipment for many industries, agriculture and defence.

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The factory at Lincoln Road, Walton in 1913 (Peterborough Images Archive),
on what is now the Brotherhood Retail Park.

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Their modern factory at Werrington.
 

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Peterscourt

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The familiar name 'Peterscourt' was only given to this building in the early 1950's when it housed the Sales Department of Perkins Engines. Previously for nearly 90 years, it had been a teacher training college. It was originally established as a training college for men from the Diocese of Peterborough, Lincoln and Ely. St Peters Training College was opened in temporary buildings in 1859, and moved to this building on its completion in 1864. The college remained open until the summer of 1915. It then closed, but re-opened in October 1921, but this time as a training college for women! In July 1938 the college closed yet again, and was used as an American Services Club during World War II. The College was re-opened for five yeaqrs (1946-1950) as an Emergency Teacher training College. Later it became the headquarters of Peterborough Development Corporation (1969-1975). It was originally designed by Sir C G Scott, and extensively restored by Peterborough Development Corporation architects in 1984/1986.

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RAF Peterborough Officer's Mess

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This building was the Officers' Mess of RAF Peterborough where Number 7 Flying Training School was established in 1936. The School trained pilots from Britain and allied European countries, many of whom lost their lives in subsequent operations during World War II. After the war, Westwood Airfield continued in civil use as a base for a Royal Mail delivery service for East Anglia using early helicopters. The School is still fully operational as an RAF Flying Training Unit but now based at RAF Chivenor in Devon.

The Society commissioned a DVD on the history of RAF Peterborough and this is available for sale from the Society. Please visit our items for sale page for how to order it. Please use the back button on your browser to return to this page.

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Salvation Army Citadel

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After Deacons School had been sold (see our Deacons School plaque) the site was bought by land speculators who demolished the buildings and built a road through the grounds, linking Queen Street with Cowgate. The new road was called King Street and the land on either side was sold as building plots at auction on 27 June 1883. Many plots were left undeveloped, so it was possible for the Salvation Army to purchase most of the east side of King Street in August 1890. A 'detachment' of the Salvation Army first came to Peterborough in 1883, and had used various temporary accommodation for indoor meetings. On the land in King Street it was proposed to build a permanent meeting, place (known as The Citadel or The Barracks); this was designed by W C Scott of London and opened by Bramwell Booth on 16 November 1891. This was their permanent home for 95 years, and in 1986 the Salvation Army moved to a new Citadel at New England.

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Sessions House

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In 1541 Henry VIII established and endowed the Diocese of Peterborough, and one of the privileges which he granted to the new Bishop of Peterborough was the power to hold prisoners in gaol and to bring them to trial; the area over which he was allowed this jurisdiction was the Hundred of Nassaburgh (also called the Liberty to Peterborough). The gaol was then under the Kings Lodging by the Minster Foregate. The Bishop's privileges were acquired in 1576 by William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the Chief Secretrary of Elizabeth I (who lived at Burghley House, within the Hundred of Nassaburgh). Gradully these privileges became enshrined in the authority exercised only by Quarter Sessions and it became unique for the Liberty Magistrate to exercise them after 1874. This building was built in 1842 (designed by W J Donthorne in the Norman style of architecture) as a courthouse for the Liberty Magistrates. Behind it was a gaol which was demolished in 1962. The Magistrates moved to a new courthouse in Bridge Street in 1978 (see our Langdyke Bush plaque).

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St John the Baptist Church

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The present parish church of St John the Baptist stands in the middle of the market place (now called Cathedral Square) to the west of the Cathedral. Originally it stood here on the site of Bishop Creighton Primary School. At a meeting of citizens and tradesmen of Peterborough in February 1402 they agreed to petition the Bishop of Lincoln (in whose diocese Peterborough then lay) to grant a licence for the demolition of the old church and its rebuilding in the market place. The reason they gave was that the parishioners could not attend the church in winter because of the flood waters. The Bishop granted his licence in May of the same year, and demolition began the following month. It took five years to move the stone, cut the timber and construct the present church. The first service held in the new church was in June 1407 when the Abbot of Peterborough, William Gence, said Mass.

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St Thomas Becket Chapel

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This plaque has been replaced with one of our Blue Plaques in April 2017 so the images displayed here are for historical reference only regarding the development of our plaques programme. To read the history our plaque commemorates please see our St Thomas Becket blue plaque entry by clicking here. To return to this page please use the back button on your browser.

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Stuart House

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The Peterborough Development Corporation was established in 1968 to guide the expansion of the City as part of the Government's proposals to transfer London 'overspill' population to a second generation of New Towns. The Corporation had its original office at Peterscourt (see our Peterscourt plaque) and then in the purpose-built Touthill Close opposite. In 1987, when most of the government-promoted development had taken place, they moved to a smaller set of offices in Stuart House; the Corporation ceased to exist in September 1988. They were succeeded (for 4 years) by a branch office of the Commission for New Towns. Stuart House was built during 1982-84 and its name, together with the adjoining offices, Aragon Court, preserves the names of Royal Burials in the Cathedral (Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, d.1536, and Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, d.1587).

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The Barracks (GN Cottages)

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Numbers 620-736 Lincoln Road are all that remain of 227 houses built in the 1850/60s by the Great Northern Railway (GNR), mainly for their locomotive depot workers. The development set such a standard that by popular consent the name New England was established. The houses had water, drains and gas. The Great Northern Railway also funded 80% of the nearby St Paul's Parish Church. Sir John Betjeman, who became Poet Laureate in 1972, urged the retention of some of the houses. The City Council modernised these dwellings in the 1980s and in 2004 Cross Keys Homes became the owners.

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The Theatre Royal

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This plaque has been replaced with one of our Blue Plaques in April 2017 so the images displayed here are for historical reference only regarding the development of our plaques programme. To read the history our plaque commemorates please see our Theatre Royal blue plaque entry by clicking here. To return to this page please use the back button on your browser.

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Thorpe Hall

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Thorpe Hall, renowned as the finest Cromwellian domestic building in the country, was built between 1653 and 1656 for Oliver St John, Lord Chief Justice to Oliver Cromwell. St John's family and heirs lived there until 1793. For a short time it became a school and in 1850 it was bought and restored by the Rev William Strong. His family sold it in 1927 to E J Meaker who did in 1937. Between 1943 and 1970 the house was used as a maternity hospital. The Sue Ryder Foundation acquired the Hall for a Sue Ryder Home in 1986 and completed the refurbishment in conjunction with English Heritage.

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Town Bridge

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This plaque has been replaced with one of our Blue Plaques in April 2017 so the images displayed here are for historical reference only regarding the development of our plaques programme. To read the history our plaque commemorates please see our Town Bridge blue plaque entry by clicking here. To return to this page please use the back button on your browser.

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Victorian Railway Engine Shed

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Built in 1848 by the Eastern Counties Railway, this 6 track Grade 2 Listed building is one of the few largely unaltered structures of its kind left in Britain. In 1862 Eastern Counties Railway became Great Eastern Railway and in 1923 London & North Eastern Railway. The shed's operational locomotive use ceased in 1932. From then until closure by British Rail in 1960, it was a storage space for rolling stock. Remarkably this Victorian building still stands today and is listed for protection by English Heritage. To celebrate this survival from the past, Peterborough Civic Society commissioned a commemorative plaque and fixed to the building with the kind permission of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), the owners of the building. The plaque was unveiled by Cllr Matthew Lee, Peterborough City Council's Heritage Champion and councillor for Fletton Ward, and Peter Waszak, a local historian, gave a brief background history of the building.

With the redevelopment of Fletton Quays the Society decided to issue an updated blue plaque in 2020, leaving the old plaque in situ. To see the updated plaque and its relevant entry in our Blue Plaques display, please follow the link to the Engine Shed. Please use the back button on your browser to return to this page.

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page last changed 5 September 2021