|| 8,578 (2004 Estimate)
|No. Over 60
|No. Under 18
|Indices of Deprivation
|Population Density KM2
for more information)
|Spending per Resident
|Average Council Tax Band
Penkridge As It Is Now
Penkridge is a lively village that boasts any amenities. It is
well known for it’s twice weekly market and monthly farmers market.
The main village street – Market Street – has a number of small
shops, some of which are housed in buildings dating back to the
15th and 16th century.
The community itself is vibrant with a large number of
organisations and societies, Rotary, Round Table, the Civic
Society, the Training Group, the Sport and Drama Groups and the
Business Association to name but a few.
There are currently a quantity of listed buildings including a
Grade 1 Church – St Michael and All Angels that is in the centre of
the village, as well as a Railway Station and 8 pubs.
Throughout the year there is a variety of events which take
place, e.g. The church and school fetes, the Fun Run, Music and
Band Concerts, a “Kids Day”, Victorian Street Fayre, competitions
for the best window box, hanging baskets, best front garden and
best shop window, all of which add to the lively atmosphere of this
Brief History Of Penkridge
One can see St. Michael's Church, with its stone put in place in
1180 on land that had been holy since 850. The Church is built of
Penkridge Stone. Looking back to the Chapel opened in 1934 one can
see the same stone. A reminder of the days of great religious
fervour and rivalries, the Methodists had decided to display their
equality with the Church and build with the medieval
Dominating the scene is the Littleton Arms. Dating from the 18th
century it stands on land once belonging to the church. A
successful enterprise in the modern world, it is also a survival
from the days when one family, the Littletons, dominated the
village for nearly 400 years. Built after the style of Teddesley
Hall it became the hub of the village. It hosted great balls for
the local aristocracy and entertained the humblest tenants on the
estate rent days. The law abiding went there to pay their taxes and
the law defying to stand before the magistrates.
The Littleton Arms and the George and Fox are evidence of the days
when Penkridge was a bustling centre of the golden age of coaching
before the road was widened to accommodate the internal combustion
engine. The Littleton survived physically, the George only in
The traffic island on Crown Bridge, lacking the courage to edge
out into the main road, is the forlorn ghost of a busy triangle of
shops and houses that were at the heart of Penkridge before
demolition in 1931. The antiquity of Penkridge is shown by the
Railway Tavern. Named after the railway which came in 1837, for
many years it was the newest pub in Penkridge despite displaying
the wattle and daub of its Tudor origins.
The huge crowds and traffic congestion attracted by Penkridge's
market are a continuation of the village's role in history. The
site was and remains the area's cattle auction. Farming was central
to the village's life and there was another, competing auction by
the Railway Tavern. Above all, the village was famous for
Just around the corner from the A449 are the Horse and Jockey
and the Horsefair but in the 18th century the narrow streets of the
village were swamped, once a year, by horses, horsedealers, jockeys
and gentlemen for the horse fair. Daniel Defoe said, in 1724, "In a
word I believe I may mark it the greatest horsefair in the world
for horses of value".
The true history of a place lies in the lives of its people. Many
famous people knew and visited Penkridge, if only from the vantage
point of Teddesley Hall. They included the Duke of Wellington, Sir
Robert Peel, Handel, John Wesley, Alexis de Tocqueville, Daniel
Defoe and George Orwell. The essence of the history of Penkridge,
lies with its people.
Protected from the noise and bustle of the main road by the
churchyard wall lie the remains of the people of Penkridge, the
18th century names and epitaphs gradually fading as the result of
20th century pollution. In front of the wall, probably obscured by
parked cars, the memorial to the dead of the two world wars. So, in
one spot, in the midst of the noise and congestion of the busiest
part of Penkridge one can see the outline of its history. It
is worth knowing and worth preserving.
Penkridge Tokens (coinage) in 1665!
Did you know Penkridge had its own currency many years
ago? Ion Phillipes, Mercer (Textile and Silk trader) of
Penkridge, had a Token issued in his name. On the heads side
it was inscribed "Iohn Phillipes - his half peny" and on the tails
side "IN Pancridge 1665" and The Mercers' Arms.
It was made in both copper and brass. It is not known how
many were made. Has anyone in Penkridge got one of these
today? In the seventeenth century, only 31 towns in
Staffordshire had their own tokens. For Penkridge to have
one, showed how important the town was then for trade in
textiles. Every person who issued these tokens was
obliged to take them again when brought to him.
Tradesmen who accepted them would then take them to Mr
Phillipes and he would change them into silver.
External Link: Penkridge Parish
for the Parish Chairmen & Clerk
Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Interests