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Peterborough is a cathedral city and Unitary authorities of England in the East of England, with an estimated population of in June 2007. For ceremonial counties of England purposes it is in the Counties of England of Cambridgeshire. Situated north of London, the city stands athwart the River Nene, which flows into the North Sea approximately to the north-east. The railway station is an important stop on the East Coast Main Line railway.
The local topography is flat and low-lying, and in some places lies below sea level. The area known as the Fens falls to the east of Peterborough. The City of Peterborough includes the outlying military installation of RAF Wittering, and as a unitary authority it borders Northamptonshire and Rutland to the west, Lincolnshire to the north, and Cambridgeshire to the south and east.
Human settlement in the area dates back to before the Bronze Age, as can be seen at the Flag Fen archaeological site to the east of the current city centre. This site also shows evidence of Ancient Rome occupation. The History of Anglo-Saxon England period saw the establishment of a monastery, then known as Medeshamstede, which later became Peterborough Cathedral. The population grew rapidly following the arrival of the railways in the nineteenth century, and Peterborough became an industrial centre, particularly noted for its brick manufacture.
Following the Second World War, growth was limited until designation as a New towns in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. The population is once again undergoing rapid expansion and a £1 billion regeneration of the city centre and immediately surrounding area is under way. In common with much of the United Kingdom, industrial employment has fallen, with new jobs tending to be in financial services and distribution.