Sunday 3rd March - Bishop's Installation Service ***Invitation Only***. See opening times for details.

Blue plaques

in the Cathedral Precincts

These plaques can be found in and around the Cathedral grounds, placed here as part of a wider trail by Peterborough Civic Society. They commemorate the individuals and places that have contributed to the history of our vibrant city.

Simon Gunton

Simon Gunton was born in Peterborough in 1609, was ordained priest in 1637 and appointed a Minor Canon at the Cathedral in 1643. He became Vicar of Peterborough in 1660 and during the plague between 1665 and 1667 he stayed in office when others left, burying 462 people, nearly a quarter of the town. Gunton was the first to write a history in English of the Abbey Church and Cathedral. He died in 1676 with his History unpublished. Ten years later, Dean Simon Patrick generously published it together with a supplement of his own.

John Fletcher

John Fletcher was a son of Richard Fletcher who became Dean of Peterborough in 1583. It was Dean Fletcher who would disturb the last moments of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, at her execution at Fotheringhay in 1587 with the cry, 'So perish all the Queen's (Elizabeth's) enemies!' From about 1606 John collaborated with Francis Beaumont in the production of at least fifteen plays as well as penning a similar number of his own. Later, Beaumont and Fletcher were part of the circle which included Shakespeare, Jonson and Donne, meeting regularly at the Mermaid Tavern near Shakespeare's house in Blackfriars. Fletcher is thought to have contributed to some of Shakespeare's later plays. In the 1580's, John Fletcher would have met 'Old Scarlett', the Peterborough sexton who buried both Katherine of Aragon and Mary, Queen of Scots, hence the local tradition that Fletcher may have seeded in Shakespeare's mind the graveyard scene in Hamlet.

Almoner's Hall

Almoner's Hall, though heavily restored, is essentially a late-thirteenth/early-fourteenth century structure with the Almoner's two-storey chamber block at its eastern end. The rest of the building consists of a hall, lit by a couple of single-light windows, and a service area and bakehouse. William Morton was Almoner from 1448 to about 1462. His private book of accounts and memoranda, 'The Book of William Morton', preserved in the British Library, is a rare survival in the history of monastic administration.

Laurel Court / Edith Cavell

Margaret Toye Gibson was born in West Mallow, Co Cork, Ireland in 1837. It is not known where she trained as a teacher, but c1870 she, together with her business partner Annette van Dissel, set up a school in Fletton. The following year they became co-proprietors of Laurel Court School in the Cathedral Precincts until Miss van Dissel's death in 1914. Miss Gibson was then in sole charge until her own death in 1928. Edith Cavell (executed in the 1914-18 war) was a pupil teacher there in the 1880's. Miss Gibson was made an honorary Freeman of the City of Peterborough in 1926.


For more information see the Peterborough Civic society website.

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