Peterborough is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 6,284 at the 2010 census. Home to the MacDowell Art Colony, the town is a popular tourist destination.
The central settlement in town, where 3,103 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Peterborough census-designated place (CDP) and is located along the Contoocook River at the junction of U.S. Route 202 and New Hampshire Route 101.
Granted by Massachusetts in 1737, it was first permanently settled in 1749. The town suffered several attacks during the French and Indian War. Nevertheless, by 1759, there were fifty families settled. Incorporated on January 17, 1760 by Governor Benning Wentworth, it was named after Lieutenant Peter Prescott (1709–1784) of Concord, Massachusetts, a prominent land speculator.