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Things to do in Penistone, South Yorkshire


Penistone is a small South Yorkshire town of around 10,000 inhabitants, just outside Barnsley. The town is at a height of 750 feet (230m) above sea level, in the foothills of the Pennines.

Penistone can trace its roots back to 1066 when it was recorded as belonging to Ailric. However the village was short-lived as in 1069 it was razed to the ground in the Harrying of the North by William the Conqueror to quell any possible uprising. It was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as being wasted land.

Later records pick up the town's history in 1699 when it was granted a Royal Charter. It began to hold livestock and sheep markets of the now rare breed of Penistone sheep.

One of the oldest buildings in the area is Penistone Church which is now Grade I listed and dedicated to St John the Baptist. It is thought to be over 1000 years old with the remains of a Saxon cross in the walls of the church and a further cross base in the churchyard.

The tower was added around 1500 AD and the lychgate was added in 1959 as a memorial to the Rev. Canon William Turnbull who was the vicar for 60 years from 1855 to 1915. The church has some beautiful stained glass, two clocks, a peel of eight bells and a weather vane made by a local resident in the shape of a fish, the traditional early Christian symbol.

In 1845 the railway arrived and Penistone served as an engineering depot. It was on the Woodhead Line which was the first line to be electrified in 1954. This line was closed to passenger trains in 1970 and to freight trains by 1981 and is now part of the Trans Pennine Trail, a long-distance footpath which runs from coast-to-coast across Northern England.


Present Day Penistone

Penistone has a large supermarket and other local shops as well as a monthly Farmer's Market. There is a Town Hall, several pubs and a local cinema, the Penistone Paramount. It also has its own radio station, Penistone FM.

Along with the historic Church of St John the Baptist it also has St Andrew's Methodist Church.

For recreation the town has the Penistone Church Football Club which plays on the Memorial Ground in Church View Road. It also has a Cricket Club and an athletics club.

The town has three primary schools and a newly built Penistone Grammar Advanced Learning Centre. Penistone Grammar School was founded as a Free Grammar School for boys in 1392. Its most famous former pupil was Nicholas Saunderson who invented the Bayes Theorem in the 16th century.

It still has a small railway station on the Penistone Line with trains running from Sheffield to Huddersfield.


Things to do in Penistone

Cyclists, hikers and horse riders can all make use of the Trans Pennine Trail which runs through the town on its way from Southport to Hornsea, a 207-mile journey.

Each September Penistone draws large crowds to its one-day agricultural show. As well as featuring livestock, it has show jumping, horticulture, dog shows and many categories of arts and crafts.

Yorkshire Day is August 1st and Penistone entertains civic dignitaries from all over the county with a parade, free films, concerts, Morris dancing and exhibitions.

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