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General Information

Population
Total Population 985 (2004 Estimate)
No. Over 60 22.5%
No. Under 18 19.7%
No. BME Below 2.4%
Indices of Deprivation  
Area KM2 1,646
Population Density KM2 0.598
Locality Five (Click for more information)
 Financial Information
Annual Budget  
Annual Precept £11,300.00
Grants Received  
Spending per Resident  
Average Council Tax Brand £22.61

 

Lower Penn

 

The parish of Lower Penn is a pleasant country district extending from the Bridgnorth Road to the edge of Penn Common, round the southwestern boundary of Wolverhampton. Although it retains its separate identity as a civil parish, it is, for ecclesiastical purposes, included in the large and ancient parish of St. Bartholomew, Upper Penn, whose 13th century church looks out over the common to the spire of Wombourne.
 
According to Prebendary Hartill’s History of Penn this division of interest between Upper and Lower Penn goes back through the centuries to Norman times, and he records that for about 300 years after the Norman Conquest the name of Nether Penn was temporarily forgotten, the district being known as Penn Buffar after the owners of the estate, who in the 14th century became lords of Nether Penn, Orton, and Wombourne. It is interesting that the old feudal association between these places has its modern counterpart under the regis of the Rural District Council.
 
Along the ridge known as Springhill some of the finest views in the Midlands may be obtained, from the Malverns in the south, past the Clee Hills to the Wrekin in the west, whilst northwards the horizon is bounded by the heights of Cannock Chase. Along this ridge, also, may be seen some lovely examples of modern country house architecture, in happy contrast to the perfect Elizabethan setting further down the hill, where the black and white thatched cottage known as Walnut Tree Kennels, with its gay flower borders, nestles at the corner of Market Lane.
 
Many of the houses in Lower Penn have long associations with the past, but perhaps the most interesting is Trescott Grange, whose connections go back to the days of King Ethelred and Lady Wulfruna. Again quoting from Prebendary Hartill, we find that in the Middle Ages it was the country home of the monks of Combe, in Warwickshire, the outlines of whose fishponds can still be seen. The old dovecote is an interesting feature of this house, and there is a tradition that King Charles II was hidden here on his way to Boscobel.
 
A few minutes' walk across the fields brings one to Furnace Grange, another large and progressive farmstead. It is almost certain that this was originally the Grange Furnace of Trescott, and we know that there were several furnaces or forges situated along the Smestow Brook used for iron smelting; the brook provided the waterpower for driving the bellows and the vast forests the fuel for the furnaces.
 
Penn was then a clearing in the forest and the staple industry was sheep rearing, as evidenced by the number of small streets or alleys in the Wolverhampton area still bearing the name of ‘Fold.’
 

A more modern touch is found at Dimmingsdale, where one of the large pumping stations of the Wolverhampton Waterworks is situated. Seen at night, with its brilliant lights reflected in the pool close by, it appears as a strange invader of this essentially country district, and it is much to be hoped that Lower Penn will retain its rural character in the years to come.

 

Information taken from South Staffordshire Reviewed with the permission of Paul Collins and Craig Walker

 

Link

 

Register of Members Disclosable Pecuniary and Other Interests

 

 

Contact Details for the Parish Chairmen & Clerk

 

Castlecroft Farmhouse

The Green Belt

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