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A monastic church was founded here by King Peada in 655 AD, destroyed by the Danes in 870, rebuilt as part of a Benedictine Abbey and re-consecrated in 972, burned down in an accidental fire in 1116 and re-built in its present form between 1118 and 1238. The porch was added about 1380, the eastern extension around 1500 and the central tower was re-built in the mid 1300's and again in the 1880's. In 1539 the monastery was closed by Henry VIII, but 18 months later in 1541, the church became the Cathedral of the new Diocese of Peterborough, with the last abbot as the new bishop, and Peterborough became a city. In the Civil War much damage was done to the Cathedral by Cromwell's troops, and the Lady Chapel, Chapter House and Cloister were destroyed; only fragments of the stained glass windows were saved and these were later pieced together to form the apse windows. The choir stalls, bishop's throne, marble floor and high altar were all created by the Victorian architect Pearson after the tower had been re-built. In the 1960's new figures were added to the West Front and in the 1970's the spectacular hanging cross was added to the Nave. Since the disastrous fire of November 2001 a massive cleaning and restoration programme has been undertaken, but there is still an expensive and endless task remaining to maintain the building and fulfil its purpose.
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