In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Penwortham like this:
PENWORTHAM, a village, a township, and a parish, in Preston district, Lancashire. The village stands on the river Ribble, near the Northwestern railway, 1½ mile S W of Preston; and has a post-office under Preston. The township contains also the village of Middleforth-Green, and the hamlet of Charnock-Moss; and comprises 2, 277 acres. Real property, £7, 221; of which £30 are in fisheries. Pop. in 1851, 1, 487; in 1861, 1, 506. Houses, 271. P. Priory, P. Hall, P. House, the Oaks, Hurst Grange, White Friars, and Swallow House are chief residences. ...
An ancient castlestood here, to guard the navigation of the Ribble; but was long ago erased. A Benedictine priory, a cell to Evesham abbey, was founded here, in the time of the Conqueror, by Warine Bussel; was given, at the dissolution, to the Fleetwoods; and has left no remains. The parish contains also the townships of Howick, Hutton, Longton, and Farington. Acres, 11, 317; of which1, 450 are water. Real property, £26, 169. Pop. in 1851, 5, 722; in 1861, 5, 488. Houses, 996. The property is subdivided. Bricks and tiles are made in Howick; and brewing and malting are carried on in Longton. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £125.* Patron, L. Rawstorne, Esq. The church is of the 14th century; was partly rebuilt, partly enlarged, in 1856; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with porch and low tower; and contains handsome monuments of the Fleetwoods and the Rawstornes. The p. curacies of Longton and Farington are separate benefices. A chapel of ease, a Wesleyan chapel, a workhouse for female children, an endowed grammar school, and charities £70 are in P. township; and dissenting chapels and public schools are in the other townships.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Penwortham has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of South Ribble. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Penwortham and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Penwortham, in South Ribble and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th April 2015
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Penwortham".