Penkridge

Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

PENKRIDGE, a parish partly in the western, but chiefly in the eastern, division of the hundred of CUTTLESTONE, county of STAFFORD, comprising the town of Penkridge, the chapelries of Coppenhall and Dunston, and the townships of Lovedale with Drayton, Mitton, Otherton, Pileton, Water-Eaton, Rodbaston, and Whiston with Bickford, and containing 2641 inhabitants, of which number, 2299 are in the town of Penkridge, 6 miles (S.) from Stafford, and 128 (N.W.) from London. This place is of great antiquity, and is supposed by Camden to have been the Roman Pennocrucium; part of its modern name is evidently deduced from the river Penk, on which it stands, but whether the remainder denotes the bank of this stream, or is a corruption of bridge, is a matter of conjecture; there is a stone bridge over the river.

This small town, from its low situation, is subject to frequent inundations: it consists principally of two streets. Here are some iron, works; and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal passes eastward of the town. The market, formerly held on Tuesday, is now disused; fairs are held April 30th, the first Monday in September, and the?, 10th of October, the first of which is said to be one of the greatest marts for cattle in the kingdom, and the second is a noted horse fair. The petty sessions for the east and west divisions of the hundred are occasionally held here. The living is a perpetual curacy in the jurisdiction of the royal peculiar court of Penkridge, endowed with £400 private benefaction, £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of E.J. Littleton, Esq.

The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is principally in the later style of English architecture, but the east window is of the decorated character, with elegant tracery; it was made collegiate by King John, and given by him to the see of Dublin, the archbishop of which was dean, and under him were thirteen prebendaries, whose prebends, at the Reformation, were valued at £106. 15. 1. A school-house was erected by subscription in 1695; and in 1731, Francis Sherratt endowed it with land for the education of eight poor boys; the income, arising from this and other bequests, amounts to £36. 3. per annum; twelve boys and eight girls are now educated. In 1819, two school-rooms, and a residence for the master and mistress, were built by E.J. Littleton, Esq., in which two hundred children are instructed on Dr. Bell's system, at his sole expense.

Congreve, a hamlet in this parish, was long the seat of an, ancient family of the same name, and it is stated by some writers to have been the native place of Congreve, the poet, but it is most probable that he was born in Ireland; this hamlet is, however, the birthplace of the learned divine and critic, Dr. Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester, who died in 1808.

DRAYTON, a township in that part of the parish of PENKRIDGE which is in the eastern division of the hundred of CUTTLESTONE, county of STAFFORD, 1¼ mile (N. by E.) from Penkridge. The population is returned with the township of Penkridge.

LOVEDALE, a township in the parish of PENKRIDGE, eastern division of the hundred of CUTTLESTONE, county of STAFFORD. The population is returned with the parish.

MITTON, a township in that part of the parish of PENKRIDGE which is in the eastern division of the hundred of CUTTLESTONE, county of STAFFORD, 2 miles (W.N.W.) from Penkridge. The population is returned with the parish.

OTHERTON, a township in that part of the parish of PENKRIDGE which is in the eastern division of the hundred of CUTTLESTONE, county of STAFFORD, 1 mile (S.S.E.) from Penkridge, with which the population is returned.

PILETON, a township in that part of the parish of PENKRIDGE which is in the eastern division of the hundred of CUTTLESTONE, county of STAFFORD, 1 mile (E.S.E.) from Penkridge, with which the population is returned.

RODBASTON, a township in that part of the parish of PENKRIDGE which is in the eastern division of the hundred of CUTTLESTONE, county of STAFFORD, 1¼ mile (S. by E.) from Penkridge. The population is returned with the township of Penkridge.

STRETTON, a chapelry in that part of the parish of PENKRIDGE which is in the western division of the hundred of CUTTLESTONE, county of STAFFORD, 3 miles (S.W. by W.) from Penkridge. The population is returned with the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the jurisdiction of the royal peculiar court of Penkridge, endowed with £710 private benefaction, and £800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of E.J. Littleton, Esq. The chapel is dedicated to St. John. The Grand Trunk canal passes in the vicinity. This is now an obscure place, supposed to occupy the site of the Roman Pennicrocium, agreeing in distance with the account given by Antoninus, in his Itinerary, and there having been several Roman coins, with other relics, found upon the spot.

WATER-EATON, a township in the parish of PENKRIDGE, eastern division of the hundred of CUTTLESTONE, county of STAFFORD, 2 miles (S.W. by S.) from Penkridge, with which the population is returned.

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