History of Penistone

Information taken from "A History of Penistone and District" by David Hey
By permission of Wharncliffe Books, Barnsley

The ancient parish of Penistone stretched from Denby Dale in the north to Stocksbridge in the south - Oxspring in the east to the country boundary at Saltersbrook in the west.

We simply do not know how far back in time the present pattern of settlement began to take shape. Many farms and hamlets were first recorded by name in the 13th and 14th century when records began, but at that time some may have already been centuries old. Penistone became an independent parish from the larger Silkstone parish by the 1120s at the latest, when the tithes and other dues of Silkstone were granted to the monks of St. John the Evangelist at Pontefract.

In 1894 Penistone parish covered 22,773 acres and was divided into 8 townships. Those were: Gunthwaite (952 acres), Langsett (4,913 acres), Denby (2,864 acres) Hunshelf (2,465 acres), Ingbirchworth (1,105), Penistone (1,134), Thurlstone (8,116), Oxspring and Roughbirchworth being merged into Oxspring township (1,202). The latter 6 of these were recorded as small manors in the Domesday Book (1086). Millhouse Green did not exist in 1772 and Thurlstone was only very small. Hand loom weavers still lived and worked in some of the Thurlstone cottages as recorded in the 1881 national census.

Population for Penistone Parish 1801 to 1901:

Township

1801

1811

1821

1831

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

1901

Denby

1061

1132

1412

1295

1709

1813

1637

1559

1661

1661

1765

Gunthwaite

111

119

86

99

66

77

81

83

70

68

57

Hunshelf

327

429

436

531

578

729

1150

1283

1404

1559

1680

Ingbirchworth

170

264

367

371

419

393

368

303

335

321

274

Langsett

204

235

325

320

303

296

280

246

271

263

922

Oxspring

219

255

247

283

241

278

346

370

350

322

397

Penistone

493

515

645

703

738

802

860

1549

2254

2553

3073

Thurlstone

1096

1283

1527

1599

1872

2018

2251

2639

2851

2735

2992

Parish Total

3681

4231

5042

5201

5907

6302

7149

8110

9094

9482

11160

Penistone Church is by far the oldest building in Penistone, which was completed in the late Middle Ages and recorded as existing in 1232. The first vicar was appointed in 1413, up until then local landowners were rectors. Some of the inner parts date back to 1200, the tower was built about 1500 and the glass dates from between 1855 and 1913. The first organ was in the northern chantry, in 1542 Richard Wattes, the vicar, had bequeathed 'a pare of organs to the Churche of Penniston' and 'a plainage book for the organs'. The first substantial organ was bought by public subscription in 1768. The clock fitted in 1817.

Diary Dates:

1392 : Penistone Grammar School founded at the top of Church Hill as a boarding school for boys. Rebuilt in 1716.

1692 : Bullhouse Chapel built.

1699 : Penistone Market approved by Parliament. Originally decided to be held on a Tuesday but after complaints from Barnsley (their market held on Wednesdays) it was agreed for Thursdays. Also a 3 day Fair to be held on 10-12 June. Both to be held in the Market Place in front of the Church Tower. The Market and Summer Fair transformed Penistone from a village into a small town. Previous to 1699 markets have been held since the 13th century on a Tuesday at close by Penisale.

1763 : Cloth Hall erected (part of which is now Clarks Chemist). Later to become the printing office of J H Wood, author of "Remarkable Occurrences" and the Penistone Almanacks.

1780s : Netherfield Chapel founded from an original gift of 25.

1825 : Bullhouse Chapel Sunday School started.

1836 : Carlecotes school built.

1845 : Woodhead tunnel opened (3 miles 13 yards). 32 were killed in the construction with a further 28 dying of cholera.

1848 : Cubley Brook Brewery founded. Mild and Bitter Beer also brewed to supply to local pubs. Partly converted to Vinegar Brewery in 1923.

1850 : Penistone Railway Line opened over a spectacular viaduct of 29 arches on the Penistone to Huddersfield line.

1854 : First Penistone Show held.

1855 : Thurlstone Handbell Ringers formed.

1856 : Hartcliffe Summer House and Hartcliffe Tower built by Henry Richardson.

1858 : Gas Works opened.

1860 : Penistone Poor Law Union Workhouse (Chapelfield) building finished.

1860 : Springvale's "Tin Chapel" built. Replaced in 1927.

1863 : Yorkshire Steel and Iron Works arrived in Penistone which was then sold to Cammell Lairds and closed in 1930. The site lay unused for five years until David Brown took over in 1935.

1869 : Gas lights were installed in the streets.

1872 : First Penistone Show held.

1874 : Present Railway Station opened.

1876 : St John's National School (Church Street) opened

1879 : Millhouse Boarding School opened

1880 : Stottercliffe Cemetery replaced the churchyard as the parish burial ground. Piped water was pumped from Thurlstone Pumping Station to replace the Town Pump and public wells such as St. Mary's (Bridgend) were then closed.

1881 : The town's streets were named and numbered.

1883 : Show moved from Thursday to Saturday to avoid market day.

1888 : 'Filling' Mill at Oxspring turned into a Wire Mill

1893 : Penistone Grammar School moved to Weirfield and the new building was completed in 1911. Girls were introduced in 1907. Only 258 pupils in 1920.

1894 : Penistone became an Urban District Council

1896 : Springvale Primitive Methodist Chapel foundation stone laid.

1906 : Sewerage Works opened.

Thurlstone St. Saviours Parish Church completed.

1907 : Penistone and Thurlstone Golf Club course opened - closed in 1913 - now covered

by the reservoir

1910 : Market moved to its present location (Backfields)

1912 : King George and Queen Mary passed through Penistone town centre.

1913 : Carnegie Free Library built (Shrewsbury Road)

1914 : Town Hall built (Shrewsbury Road).

1915 : Thurlstone and Millhouse Methodist Chapel built.

1916 : 2nd and 3rd arches in the Penistone Viaduct collapsed.

1922 : Work started on Scout Dyke reservoir

1924 : Penistone War Memorial unveiled.

1933 : Official visit to Penistone by the Duke of Windsor, 3 years before his abdication.

1933, 1947, 1962-3 : Worst winters recorded

1936 : Park Avenue housing estate started being built.

1948 : First ever play performed by Penistone Players held in the Drill Hall:

1951 : Big Flood of Penistone