A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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PENPONDS, an ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Camborne, union of Redruth, E. division of the hundred of Penwith, W. division of Cornwall, 1 mile (S. W.) from the town of Camborne; containing 2817 inhabitants. The district was constituted in December 1846, under the provisions of the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37. It is bounded on the north by the sea, and comprises 2621 acres of land, much of which has been brought into cultivation within the last few years, and some of which is rich and fertile. The West Cornwall railway passes through, as does the road from Camborne to Penzance and Hayle. Several coppermines have been worked in the district, but all are now discontinued. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Crown and the Bishop of Exeter, alternately. There are two places of worship for Methodists, and one for Bible Christians.
Penrith (St. Andrew)
PENRITH (St. Andrew), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in Leath ward, E. division of Cumberland, 18 miles (S. E. by S.) from Carlisle, and 283 (N. N. W.) from London; containing, with the hamlets of Carleton and Plumpton-Head, and the district of Inglewood Forest, 6429 inhabitants, of whom 6145 are in the town. This place is of considerable antiquity: its name is evidently of British origin, and, signifying "the red hill or summit," has reference either to the nature of the adjacent soil, or to the red freestone with which the town is built. Old Penrith, the Bremetenracum of the Romans, is situated about five miles north-by-west of the present town. At the Conquest, the honour of Penrith was a royal franchise, which, after repeated changes, was assigned to Alexander III., King of Scotland, in consideration of his ceding all claim to the counties of Cumberland, Northumberland, and Westmorland, at that time the subject of frequent contests between the sovereigns of England and Scotland. From him it descended to John Baliol, on whose defection it was seized by Edward I., and given to Anthony Beck, Bishop of Durham: having repeatedly lapsed to the crown, it was granted in 1696, to William Bentinck, Earl of Portland, and was sold by the late Duke of Portland in 1783 to the Duke of Devonshire. During the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II., the town suffered greatly from the incursions of the Scots, who, in the latter reign, ravaged the country, fired towns and villages, and enslaved many of the inhabitants; but the invaders becoming infected by the plague, which then raged here, and conveying the contagion into Scotland on their return, nearly one-third of the people of that kingdom fell a sacrifice. A second visitation of the plague, in the years 1597 and 1598, swept away upwards of 2000 inhabitants of the town and parish.
The town is pleasantly seated in a fine fertile vale, which is inclosed by eminences of varied cultivation, and watered by three small rivers, the Eamont, the Lowther, and the Petteril. It consists principally of one long street, situated at the junction of the main roads from Yorkshire and Lancashire to Glasgow, and is well paved, and lighted; the houses, many of which are modern, are built chiefly of red freestone, covered with plaster and whitewashed, and roofed with slate. About the year 1400, a water-course was cut through the town from the river Petteril, to the Eamont, at the expense of William Strickland, Bishop of Carlisle. On Beacon Hill, so called from having been anciently crowned with a beacon, is a square stone edifice, erected in 1719, the windows of which command an extensive and diversified prospect, combining nearly all the varieties of landscape scenery. Towards the north is an excellent race-course, with a grand stand, where on the four last days of the first week in October, races and stag hunts are numerously and respectably attended. There are an assembly-room (occasionally used as a theatre), a bowling-green, newsroom, and subscription and circulating libraries; and the neighbourhood affords many picturesque and beautiful walks. The manufacture of checks, gingham, calico, and other cotton goods, was formerly carried on to a considerable extent, but it is now on the decline: the mineral produce of the vicinity consists of red freestone, slate, and limestone. The Lancaster and Carlisle railway has a station here, the site presenting a most commanding view of the surrounding country: some acres of ground are occupied by the buildings, coal-staiths, &c.; and closely adjoining are the venerable ruins of the castle, noticed below. The principal market, at which a large quantity of corn is pitched, is held on Tuesday, and there is a smaller one for butchers' meat on Saturday: fairs for cattle take place on March 1st, April 24th and 25th, and the third Tuesday in October; and fairs for hiring servants, on the Tuesday at Whitsuntide and at Martinmas. New shambles were erected, and the old marketcross, shambles, and moot-hall were removed from the market-place, in 1807. The markets and fairs are under the regulation of the bailiff appointed by the Duke of Devonshire, whose steward presides every third Monday at a court baron, the powers of which extend to the recovery of debts under 40s. Petty-sessions are held on alternate Tuesdays; and a quarter-session for the county, on the Tuesday in the first week after October 11th. The powers of the county debt-court of Penrith, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of West Ward, and nearly the whole of that of Penrith. A house of correction was built in 1826, at an expense of £400, defrayed out of the county rate.
The parish comprises 7663a. 3r. 27p. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 6. 3.; patron, the Bishop of Carlisle. The church, which was given by Henry I. to the see of Carlisle, then newly founded, was rebuilt, with the exception of the tower, in 1722, and is a plain, neat, and spacious edifice; the altar is placed in a semicircular recess, adorned with paintings in a very good style, and the building contains many monuments preserved from the former structure. In the churchyard are two stone monuments, called the Giant's Grave or the Giant's Legs; they are about 12 feet high, and 15 feet distant from each other, and are traditionally said to have been raised to commemorate the exploits of Sir Ewen Cæsarius, an ancient hero, against the robbers and wild boars that infested Inglewood Forest. There are places of worship for Wesleyans, the Society of Friends, Independents, Primitive Methodists, and Scottish Seceders. The free grammar school was instituted in 1340, by Bishop Strickland, who, having established a chantry here, required his chantry priest to teach music and grammar, at a salary of £6 per annum; it was refounded by Queen Elizabeth, and the endowment is at present about £30 per annum. It is entitled to share, with other schools in Westmorland and Yorkshire, in five exhibitions of £50 per annum each at Queen's College, Oxford, the bequest of Lady Elizabeth Hastings in the year 1739. The poor-law union of Penrith comprises 39 parishes or places, and contains, according to the census of 1841, a population of 20,989.
The remains of the ancient castle are westward of the town. The fabric is supposed to have been erected as a protection from the incursions of the Scots; it was repaired and enlarged by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who resided here and was sheriff of Cumberland for five years in succession. The site favours the opinion of its having been a Roman encampment, being irregularly quadrilateral. The building exhibits no indication of very ancient date, and the ruins are remarkable more for their extent than their magnificence: the chief objects of interest are the projecting corbels in the eastern front, which appear to have supported an open corridor; there are some large vaults, which were probably prisons. The walls, broken in many places, and intersected with remaining windows, assume, from different points of view, striking varieties of perspective scenery. After the great civil war, the edifice was dismantled, and part of the materials sold. About half a mile north of Penrith is a square mount, measuring 20 yards on each side, which is generally supposed to have been used during the rebellion, as a place of execution for Scottish rebels. Three miles east-by-south of the town, on the north side of the river Eamont, are two remarkable excavations in a perpendicular rock, styled Giant's Caves, according to fabulous tradition the resisidence of Isis, a giant. On the south bank of the same river is a circular intrenchment designated King Arthur's Round Table.
Penrose (St. Cadocus)
PENROSE (St. Cadocus), a parish, in the division and hundred of Raglan, union and county of Monmouth, 2 miles (N.) from Raglan; containing 358 inhabitants. It consists of elevated and highly undulated ground, from parts of which some pleasing and extensive prospects are obtained; the soil is of a clayey quality. The living is annexed to the vicarage of LlantilioCressenny: there is a glebe of 50 acres. The church is an ancient structure, with a square tower.
PENRUDDOCK, a hamlet, in the parish of Greystock, union of Penrith, Leath ward, E. division of Cumberland, 6¼ miles (W. by S.) from Penrith. The Independents have a place of worship.
PENRYN, a sea-port, borough, and market-town, in the parish of Gluvias, union of Falmouth, E. division of the hundred of Kerrier, W. division of Cornwall, 2 miles (N. W.) from Falmouth, and 266 (W. S. W.) from London; containing 3337 inhabitants. This place, comprising the manors of Penryn Borough and Penryn Forryn, has from time immemorial belonged to the bishops of Exeter, who had formerly a residence here, and under whose patronage the town first rose into importance. Bishop Bronscombe, in 1258, procured for the inhabitants the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair; and, about the year 1270, founded a collegiate church at the place, for a provost, eleven prebendaries, seven vicars, and six choristers, which he amply endowed and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St. Thomas of Canterbury, and which continued till the Dissolution, when its revenues were valued at £210. 13. 2. An additional fair was obtained in 1312, by Bishop Stapleton, privy councillor to Edward II., and lord high treasurer of England. During the civil war of the seventeenth century, Penryn was garrisoned for the king, but being attacked by the parliamentary forces, it surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax, in 1646.
The town is pleasantly situated on the declivity of an eminence, at the head of an inlet from Falmouth harbour, and consists principally of one spacious street, from which others diverge at right angles. The houses are in general neatly built; the town is paved, and lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are supplied with water by streams issuing from the adjacent heights, one of which in its descent forms an interesting cascade. The adjacent country is well cultivated, and interspersed with gentlemen's seats; and the scenery, including some fine views of Falmouth harbour and the coast, is varied and picturesque. A new road has been formed from Falmouth and Redruth, to avoid the steep streets of the town; and another to avoid the hill called Antron, adjoining the town on the Helston road. The quay, also, has been extended to nearly twice its original length, and an iron swing-bridge constructed over the river, within the last few years. The port is a member of that of Falmouth, and has a considerable trade in the shipping of granite from quarries in the neighbourhood (of which large quantities are sent to London), arsenic, leather, and paper; and in the importation of flour, corn, coal, timber, and saltpetre. There are warehouses on the quay for flour and grain, which are brought from Ireland, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight, this place being the granary for supplying the adjoining mineral district. An act for forming basins, docks, and other works, was passed in 1845. The manufacture of paper, woollen-cloth, arsenic, and gunpowder, is carried on; and in the neighbourhood are some tanneries, breweries, and corn-mills. The market is on Saturday, and is well supplied with meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables. Fairs for cattle are held on the Wednesday after March 6th, on May 12th, July 7th, October 8th, and December 21st.
Penryn is a borough by prescription; it received its first charter of incorporation from James I., and a second one was bestowed by James II., in the first year of his reign. The government is now vested in a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors, under the act of the 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76; the mayor, the late mayor, and others, are justices of the peace, the county magistrates having concurrent jurisdiction. Though it is said to have made a return to parliament in the reign of Edward VI., the town appears to have regularly exercised the elective franchise only since the first year of the reign of Mary: by the act of 1832, the limits of the borough, which contained 250 acres, were extended so as to include the town of Falmouth; the mayor is returning officer. There was formerly a chapel in the town, but it long since fell into decay, and the inhabitants attend the parochial church of Gluvias, which is not more than 100 yards distant from the town. The Bryanites, Independents, and Wesleyans have places of worship. A free grammar school was founded by Queen Elizabeth, and endowed with a rent-charge of £6. 13. 4., but it is now discontinued; a national school, erected in 1837, is supported by subscription. John Verran, in the year 1758, bequeathed £1000, which have been invested in the three per cents., for the support of eight men or women; and James Humphrey, Esq., in 1823, left £3000 to be invested, and the dividends appropriated to the payment of certain annuities, and, on the death of the annuitants, paid in sums of £10 per annum to individuals in reduced circumstances.
PENSAX, a chapelry, in the parish of Lindridge, union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, but locally in the Upper division of the hundred of Doddingtree, Hundred-House and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 6 miles (S. W.) from Bewdley; containing 541 inhabitants. The chapelry is in the eastern part of the parish, and comprises 1193 acres, of hilly surface. Coal is abundant, and is worked to a considerable extent. The chapel, dedicated to St. James, was rebuilt in 1833; it is a neat stone structure, on a steep elevation called Chapel Hill, and will seat 242 persons. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Vicar of Lindridge; net income, £100, paid out of the vicarial tithes, with a house.
PENSBY, a township, in the parish of Woodchurch, union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall, S. division of Cheshire, 4½ miles (N. N. W.) from Great Neston; containing 31 inhabitants. The first notice of this place is found in a record of the 21st of Richard II., from which it appears probable that the entire township had previously belonged to one Peter Pennesby. It is known to have been divided in parcels in the reign of Henry VI., when one-third belonged to the hospital of St. John, in Chester, a like extent to the Stanleys, of Hooton, and a fourth part to the family of Bold. After the Dissolution, the manor was granted to the Dean and Chapter of Chester, from whom it passed to the Harpurs, who sold it to the Gleggs, of Gayton. The township is situated on a moorish flat, between Heswall, Barnston, and Irby; and comprises 334 acres, of a clayey soil. The inhabitants occupy the few farmhouses of which the village is composed.
Penscellwood (St. Michael)
PENSCELLWOOD (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Wincanton, hundred of Norton-Ferris, E. division of Somerset, 3¾ miles (N. E.) from Wincanton; containing 397 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the river Stour, comprises 1100 acres by measurement; the surface is in general hilly. There are several quarries of building-stone. The manufacture of shoe-thread and sacking affords employment to about 100 persons. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 14. 9½., and in the patronage of the Earl of Ilchester, Sir H. R. Hoare, Bart., and the Earl of Egremont's Trustees: the tithes have been commuted for £156. 12. 8., and there are 32 acres of glebe, with a house. On the site of an ancient Danish camp in the parish, a tower, 120 feet in height, was erected by an ancestor of Sir H. R. Hoare's, to commemorate the celebrated visit of Alfred the Great, in the disguise of a minstrel, to the tent of Guthrum.
Pensford St. Thomas (St. Thomas à Becket)
PENSFORD ST. THOMAS (St. Thomas à Becket), a parish, in the union of Clutton, hundred of Keynsham, E. division of Somerset, 5½ miles (S.) from Bristol; containing 360 inhabitants. The parish is intersected by the river Chew. In the neighbourhood are several considerable copper-mines, and these, with adjacent coal-mines, afford employment to a great part of the population. The village is situated partly in this parish and partly in that of Publow; a market formerly held by charter in the latter portion, has been disused for some years, but there are still fairs on May 6th and November 8th. The living is annexed to the vicarage of Stanton-Drew. Here are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans.
PENSHAM, a hamlet, in the parish of St. Andrew, Pershore, union, and Upper division of the hundred, of Pershore, Pershore and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 1½ mile (S. by W.) from Pershore; containing 100 inhabitants, and comprising 704 acres.
Pensher, Durham.—See Painshaw.
PENSHER, Durham.—See Painshaw.
Penshurst (St. John the Baptist)
PENSHURST (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Seven-Oaks, hundred of Somerden, lathe of Sutton at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 6 miles (W. S. W.) from Tonbridge; containing 1470 inhabitants. The parish comprises 4526 acres, of which 342 are in wood: the river Eden here unites with the Medway, and the scenery is beautifully varied. Stone is quarried, of a quality suitable for building; and the manufacture of paper is carried on. A fair is held in June. At White Port, the South-Eastern railway is carried through a short tunnel 25 feet in diameter. Penshurst Place, adjoining the village, is a noble pile erected at various periods, on the site of a mansion which, in the time of William the Conqueror, belonged to the Penchester family, but, from that of Edward IV., to the Sidneys, of whom was Sir Philip Sidney. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £30. 6. 0½., and in the gift of Sir J. S. Sidney, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £1020; the glebe comprises 35 acres, with a house. The church, which was probably erected in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, is a handsome edifice with three chancels, and is rich in ancient monuments. There is a place of worship for Baptists. Two national schools have been established; and five almshouses have been erected, partly by Sir J. S. Sidney in exchange for land on which some ancient almshouses stood, and partly by subscription. In the neighbourhood are remains of a Roman fortification. Dr. Henry Hammond, a learned divine, was rector of the parish. Penshurst gives the inferior title of Baron to the family of Smythe, Viscounts Strangford.
PENSNETT, an ecclesiastical parish, in the parish of King's-Swinford, union of Stourbridge, N. division of the hundred of Seisdon, S. division of the county of Stafford, 2 miles (W. S. W.) from Dudley, on the road to King's-Swinford; containing about 5000 inhabitants. This parish was constituted in 1844, under the act 6th and 7th of Victoria, cap. 37. It is about two miles in length, and one mile and a half in breadth; the soil is a strong clay, and part only is in a state of cultivation, the district having been formerly comprehended in the limits of Pensnett Chase. The Stourbridge and the Stourbridge Extension canals, and the large reservoirs belonging to them, bound the parish on two sides. Here are some of the largest iron-works in South Staffordshire, which, and the coal and iron mines in the immediate neighbourhood, have in the few last years rapidly increased the population. Corbyn Hall, in the parish, is the ancient seat of the Corbyn family. The beautifully-wooded eminence called Barrow Hill is supposed to be of volcanic origin, and has emitted smoke from its summit in the memory of some of the old inhabitants, though all appearance of smoke has now ceased. On this hill stands the church, just finished, a handsome edifice in the early English style, 138 feet in length, with spacious chancel and aisles, and calculated to accommodate above 1000 persons; the estimated cost is £6000. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield, alternately; net income, £150. There are two places of worship for Wesleyans, and one for the New Connexion of Methodists.
Pensthorpe, or Pentesthorpe
PENSTHORPE, or Pentesthorpe, a parish, in the union of Walsingham, hundred of Gallow, W. division of Norfolk, 2 miles (E. S. E.) from Fakenham; containing 19 inhabitants. It comprises 750a. 11p., of which 572 acres are arable, 151 pasture and meadow, and 15 woodland and waste. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10, and in the gift of certain Trustees: the tithes have been commuted for £170. The church has been long in ruins. Roman urns have been found in the gravel-pits here.
PENTERRY, a parish, in the union and division of Chepstow, hundred of Caldicot, county of Monmouth, 3¼ miles (N. by W.) from Chepstow; containing 38 inhabitants. It is on the right bank of the river Wye, and comprises about 460 acres. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop, Archdeacon, and Chapter of Llandaff, the appropriators; net income, £65. The tithes have been commuted for £55.
Pentlow (St. George)
PENTLOW (St. George), a parish, in the union of Sudbury, hundred of Hinckford, N. division of Essex, 2¾ miles (E. by N.) from Clare; containing 364 inhabitants. This parish, which is partly bounded by the river Stort, is about seven miles in circumference; the surface is chiefly elevated, with some small tracts of low meadow land. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12, and in the gift of the Rev. Edward Bull: the tithes have been commuted for £510, and the glebe comprises 27 acres. The church, situated on low ground, is partly Norman, and partly in the early English style, with an embattled tower of stone and flint; on the north side of the chancel is a sepulchral chapel belonging to the family of Kemp, in which is an elegant tomb with recumbent figures of Judge Kemp and his wife.
Pentney (St. Mary Magdalene)
PENTNEY (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union and hundred of Freebridge-Lynn, W. division of Norfolk, 8 miles (N. W. by W.) from Swaffham; containing 592 inhabitants. The parish comprises by measurement 2492 acres, of which 1190 are arable, 1082 pasture and meadow, 170 plantation, and 50 in roads and waste; the soil, formerly wet and marshy, has been greatly improved by draining, for which an act of parliament was obtained in 1815. The village is situated on the north bank of the river Nar, and consists of numerous widely-detached houses. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £60; patron, the Rev. Robert Hankinson; impropriator, the Rev. Dr. George Thackeray. The church is an ancient structure in the decorated English style, with a square embattled tower. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. At the inclosure of the parish, 62 acres were allotted to the poor for fuel; and a house and some land, now producing £18 per annum, have been bequeathed for widows. About a mile to the west is the gate-house of a priory of Black canons, founded in honour of the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Mary Magdalene, by Robert de Vallibus, a follower of the Conqueror's; at the Dissolution there were twelve canons, whose revenue was estimated at £215. 18. 8. In the grounds of the priory, three long swords, and some silver coins, have been discovered by the plough. Between the ruin and the church is an ancient cross.
Penton-Grafton, Hants.—See Weyhill.
PENTON-GRAFTON, Hants.—See Weyhill.
Penton-Mewsey (Holy Trinity)
PENTON-MEWSEY (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union and hundred of Andover, Andover and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 2¾ miles (N. W. by W.) from Andover; containing 249 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 12. 8½., and in the gift of the Rev. J. Constable: the tithes have been commuted for £286, and the glebe comprises 40 acres.
PENTONVILLE, a hamlet, in the parish of St. James, Clerkenwell, Finsbury division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex; containing 9334 inhabitants. A chapel was erected in 1788, since which period a considerable number of streets has been formed, constituting one of the most respectable suburbs of the metropolis.—See Clerkenwell.
Pentrich (St. Matthew)
PENTRICH (St. Matthew), a parish, in the union of Belper, hundred of Morleston and Litchurch, S. division of the county of Derby; containing, with the chapelry of Ripley, and the hamlet of Butterley, 3054 inhabitants, of whom 539 are in the township of Pentrich, 2¾ miles (S. W. by S.) from Alfreton. This parish, which previously to the Reformation was a domain of Darley Abbey, comprises 4600 acres, whereof 1450a. 2r. 11p. belong to the Duke of Devonshire. The Cromford canal passes through it, and is joined by a tramroad from Oakerthorpe. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Devonshire: attached to the glebe-house is a glebe of a few acres. The church, which stands on a fine eminence, is a very ancient structure. At Ripley is a separate incumbency; and the parish contains places of worship for Independents, Methodists, and Unitarians. A national school, built by the Duke of Devonshire in 1819, is supported by subscription; and the poor have had some portions of land allotted to them for spade cultivation. The Romans had a camp on part of what was Pentrich common, called Castle Hill, through which passed the Ikeneld-street.
Pentridge (St. Rumbold)
PENTRIDGE (St. Rumbold), a parish, in the union of Wimborne and Cranborne, hundred of Cranborne, Wimborne division of Dorset, 3½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Cranborne; containing, with the hamlet of East Woodyates, 244 inhabitants. The parish is situated in the north-eastern extremity of the county, upon the borders of Wiltshire, and on the road from Blandford to Salisbury. It comprises an area of 1764 acres, of which 248 are common or waste land. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 15. 10., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £205, and the glebe comprises 49 acres. On Penbury Hill, which commands an extensive prospect, was formerly a beacon.
Penwortham (St. Mary)
PENWORTHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Preston, hundred of Leyland, N. division of Lancashire; containing, with the chapelry of Longton, and the townships of Farington, Howick, and Hutton, 5498 inhabitants, of whom 1372 are in Penwortham township, 1¾ mile (S. W.) from Preston. William the Conqueror bestowed this place on Roger de Busli, joint lord of the hundred of Blackburn; and it is highly probable that the castle of Penwortham was one of the baronial residences of this favourite of his sovereign. Warin Bussel, supposed to have been the son of Roger de Busli, was his successor, and ranks as the first baron of Penwortham. He was a considerable benefactor to the abbey of Evesham, on which he conferred the churches of Penwortham, Meols, and Leyland, and the town of Farington. Hugh Bussel, the fourth baron, was involved in litigation with John, Earl of Morton, afterwards King John, respecting his inheritance, which he finally lost by some real or pretended defect in his title; and in the 7th of John the barony was assigned to Roger de Lacy, constable of Chester, for 310 marks of silver. It is recorded that Ranulph, surnamed de Blundeville, earl of Chester and baron of Lancaster, after he had received confirmation from Henry III. of the lands between the Ribble and the Mersey, held his court at Penwortham Castle. From the earls of Chester and Lincoln the barony passed by marriage to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and eventually became merged in the dukedom of Lancaster. A Benedictine priory was founded here in honour of the Virgin Mary, on the lands granted by Warin Bussel to the abbey of Evesham; and several monks of that establishment were placed in it, whose revenue at the Dissolution was £114. 16. 9.: the site was given in the 34th of Henry VIII. to John Fleetwood, of London.
The parish is the most northern of the parishes in Leyland hundred. It is bounded on the north by the Ribble, whose banks consist of highly cultivated grounds, and command a view of the opposite borough of Preston; on the east it is bounded by Walton-le-Dale, in the parish of Blackburn, on the south by Leyland and Hoole parishes, and the western boundary is washed by the Ribble estuary. The area is 7451 acres, and the arable and pasture land are in nearly equal portions. In the township of Penwortham are 2109 acres, of which about one-third are arable, one-sixth pasture, and a small portion wood. One of the heaviest cuttings on the line of the North-Union railway was that made through Penwortham Hill; and the embankment of the Ribble valley here, for the same railway, was also a work of considerable labour. The bridge continuing the line over the Ribble into Preston, is a bold and massive structure, erected at a cost of £45,000: it consists of five semielliptical arches, each of 120 feet span; the piers are 20 feet in thickness, and the way 44 feet above the level of the water, the whole being constructed of gritstone, principally from Longridge quarry.
The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £106; patron, L. Rawstorne, Esq., who is also impropriator: the tithes of Penwortham township have been commuted for £206. The church stands on an eminence overlooking the valley of the Ribble, and is a small edifice, probably of the 15th century, having a nave, aisle, and chancel, with a tower; the interior is narrow and gloomy, and the seats are quite plain, but over two of the pews are carved canopies. In 1812 a new gallery was erected, and the higher part of the body of the church was fronted, and castellated, in the latest style of pointed architecture. At Farington and Longton are separate incumbencies. In Penwortham is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. A free grammar school was founded at Hutton, in 1552, by Christopher Walton, who endowed it with houses and lands which produced at first only £4 per annum, but now yield an annual income of £850. A valuable charity is administered, in clothes, on St. Thomas' day, to the poor of Penwortham and Howick; the income is now nearly £80 a year, being the rent of two fields in Fishergate, Preston, which until 1846 returned only £26 per annum: a branch railway from the North-Union station in Preston to the river Ribble produced the increase. The trustees of the grammar school have erected schools out of their funds, at Penwortham and Farington, and support the masters of the schools at Howick and Longton. The castle already mentioned has totally disappeared; but its remembrance is preserved in the name of Castle Hill. Numbers of trees are found underneath peat, and along the coast of the Ribble estuary.
Pen-Y-Clawdd (St. Martin)
PEN-Y-CLAWDD (St. Martin), a parish, in the division and hundred of Raglan, union and county of Monmouth, 5 miles (S. W.) from Monmouth; containing 48 inhabitants. The parish comprises 614a. 26p., of which 261 acres are arable, 253 meadow and pasture, and 96 woodland; and is situated on the old road from Usk to Monmouth. Stone is quarried for building, and the repair of roads. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Llangoven: the tithes belong to the bishop, archdeacon, and chapter of Llandaff, and have been commuted for £50. The church is an ancient structure, with a square tower.
PENZANCE, a sea-port, incorporated market-town, and chapelry, and the head of a union, in the parish of Madron, having exclusive jurisdiction, locally in the W. division of the hundred of Penwith and of the county of Cornwall, 67 miles (S. W. by W.) from Launceston, and 282 (W. S. W.) from London; containing 8578 inhabitants. This town, which is the most western in England, was in 1595 burnt by the Spaniards, who, having landed near Mousehole, about two miles and a half distant, set fire to that place and to the village of Newlyn, and laid waste the coast generally. On this occasion Sir Francis Godolphin summoned the inhabitants of the neighbourhood to his assistance, and attempted to protect the town from devastation; but his followers being seized with a sudden panic, he was obliged to abandon it to its fate. On the day following, the Cornish men, having rallied, repelled the invaders, without sustaining any further injury. The town was speedily rebuilt, and continued to flourish as a port, carrying on a considerable coasting-trade, and having many privileges, which had been granted to the inhabitants by Henry VIII., and were confirmed by James I. During the civil war, the place was plundered by the army under Sir Thomas Fairfax, in 1646, in resentment for the favourable reception given by the inhabitants to the royalist forces under Lords Goring and Hopeton. After the Restoration it was made one of the stannary towns.
It is situated on the north-west side of Mount's bay, nearly opposite to St. Michael's Mount and Marazion, and consists of several streets, lighted with gas, and well paved. The houses are in general modern and neatly built, and the inhabitants are supplied with water from a spring about two miles and a half distant, which is conveyed into a reservoir at the head of North-street. A public library was established in 1818, and there are subscription and commercial newsrooms. The Penwith Agricultural Society, founded in 1813, holds its meetings for the distribution of premiums for improvements in husbandry at this place. The Royal Geological Society of Cornwall was established here in the same year, by Dr. Paris, under the patronage of George IV., and has a splendid collection of minerals illustrative of the sciences of geology and mineralogy, and a laboratory. A museum, also, has been established within the last few years, chiefly for natural history; many foreign and native specimens have been presented, and the institution appears to be promising well. The agreeable situation of the town, and the mild temperature of its climate, render it a favourite resort for invalids: baths are kept for the accommodation of visiters, and assemblies are held. The environs abound with beautiful scenery, affording pleasant rides; and the numerous boats for water excursions, and the shipping in Mount's bay, add greatly to the interest and cheerfulness of the place.
The harbour is very commodious. The pier, originally constructed in 1766, extended in 1785, and again in 1812, is now more than 600 feet in length; at the extremity of it a lighthouse was built in 1816, which is illuminated when there are ten feet of water in the harbour. A northern arm is about to be run out from the eastern end of the town, towards the head of the pier, so as to form a basin, and give increased shelter for shipping; and it is also in contemplation to make a floating-dock within, capable of containing steamers and large vessels. The trade consists principally in exporting copper-ore, china-clay, and pilchards; and in importing timber, iron, hemp, tallow, grocery, and shop goods of various sorts, for the supply of the neighbourhood. The pilchard-fishery is carried on at Mousehole and Newlyn, and the fish are brought to be shipped at this place, whence also are shipped about two-thirds of the Cornish tin. The number of vessels of above 50 tons registered at the port is 32, and the aggregate burthen 3284 tons; the amount of duties paid at the custom-house during the year is about £30,000. A packet sails weekly to the Scilly Islands, and a steam-packet plies between Penzance and London every fortnight. About 4000 blocks of tin are coined here every three months; there are two tin smelting-houses near the town, and several establishments for making the tin into bars and ingots for exportation. The regular market-days are Tuesday and Thursday, and a market is also held on Saturday: a very handsome market-house was erected in 1839, at an expense of £8000. The fairs are on March 25th, the Thursday after Trinity-Sunday, on Sept. 8th, and the Thursday before Advent-Sunday.
The government, by charter of James I., bestowed in the year 1615, was vested in a mayor, eight aldermen, twelve assistants, &c. The corporation now consists of a mayor, six aldermen, and eighteen councillors, under the act of the 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76; the number of justices of the peace is four, and the borough is divided into two wards. A grant of anchorage, keelage, and bushelage was made to the inhabitants by Henry VIII.: the dues from the pier, amounting to about £2100, and the tolls of the markets, to £800 per annum, form part of the corporation revenue. The corporation hold quarterly courts of session on the Friday following those for the county; and a court of record every alternate Friday, for the recovery of debts under £50. Petty-sessions for the Western division of the hundred take place here on the first Wednesday in every month; and a hundred court is held by the steward, every third Tuesday, in which debts can be recovered to an unlimited amount. The powers of the county debt-court of Penzance, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Penzance and Scilly Islands. A handsome guildhall has been built. A gaol and house of correction, in which is a tread-wheel, was built in 1826, at an expense of £700, defrayed by a rate upon the inhabitants.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rev. M. N. Peters; net income, £156. The old chapel, built in 1490, and dedicated to St. Mary Buryton, was partly burned by the Spaniards in 1595, and remained in ruins till 1680, when it was repaired and enlarged by the corporation: a cemetery was then inclosed, and the limits of the chapelry were made identical with those of the town. The building was taken down in 1832, and a new chapel erected on the site, which contains 2000 sittings, whereof 1000 are free; the expense was estimated at £4500, and the edifice is of granite in the later English style, with a lofty square embattled tower crowned by pinnacles. St. Paul's chapel, opened on Easter-Tuesday, 1843, owes its existence to the liberality of the Rev. Henry Batten, and is in the style that prevailed in the 13th century; the interior is carefully finished. Here are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyans; also a synagogue. A grammar school is partly supported by the corporation, who allow the master £50 per annum. The poorlaw union of Penzance comprises 19 parishes or places, and contains a population of 50,100. There was a small oratory, dedicated to St. Anthony, near the pier, of which some vestiges were existing within the last 50 years. A mile to the west of the town are the remains of a considerable intrenchment called Castle Horneck, consisting of earth and pebbles; and half a mile to the north is another, named Castle Lescudjack. Two miles to the north is a very extensive triple intrenchment styled Castle-an-Dinas; and about four miles to the north of the town is one of the largest cromlechs in the county. Sir Humphrey Davy, the eminent natural philosopher and chymist, was a native of Penzance.