In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Penkridge like this:
PENKRIDGE, a small town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Staffordshire. The town stands on the river Penk, the Worcester and Staffordcanal, and the Stour Valley railway, 2½ miles N of Watling-street, and 6 S of Stafford; dates from ancient times; contains some respectable houses; is a seat of petty sessions and a polling-place; had formerly a weeklymarket; and has now a post-office‡ under Stafford, a railway station, a banking office, and fairs on 30 April, 2 Sept., and 10 Oct. ...
The township includes the town. Pop. in 1851, 2, 663; in 1861, 2, 510. Houses, 539. The parish contains also the townships of Coppenhall and Dunston, and the chapelry of Stretton. Acres, 19, 605. Rated property, £20,080. Pop. in 1851, 3, 316; in 1861, 3, 146. Houses, 669. The property is not much divided. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £280.* Patron, Lord Hatherton. The church is later English, in good condition; was made collegiate by King John, for 13 prebendaries; and was given to the Archbishop of Dublin. The p. curacies of Coppenhall, Dunston, and Stretton are separate benefices. There are chapels for Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Plymouth Brethren, an endowed school with £36 a year, and charities £16. The sub-district excludes Stretton chapelry, and includes Church-Eaton parish, Kinvaston, and Acton-Trussell-with-Bednell townships, and Teddesley-Hay extra-parochial tract. Acres, 27, 434. Pop., 4, 260. Houses, 905. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Brewood, containing the parishes of Brewood and Lapley, the chapelry of Stretton, the township of Featherston, and part of the parish of Bushbury; and the sub-district of Cannock, containing the parishes of Cannock, Shareshill, Cheslyn-Hay, and Norton-under-Cannock, and the townships of Hilton, Hatherton, and Essington. Acres of the district, 70, 799. Poor-rates in 1863, £6, 286. Pop. in 1851, 16, 850; in 1861, 18, 662. Houses, 3, 756. Marriages in 1863, 107; births, 681, of which 39 were illegitimate; deaths, 385, of which148 were at ages under 5 years, and 6 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1, 113; births, 5, 626; deaths, 3, 543. The places of worship, in 1851, were 19of the Church of England, with 6, 654 sittings; 6 of Independents, with 1, 180 s.; 7 of Wesleyans, with 899 s.; 2 of New Connexion Methodists, with 343 s.; 7 of Primitive Methodists, with 385 s.; 1 of Brethren, with 40s.; 1 undefined, with 120 s.; and 2 of Roman Catholics, with 430 s. The schools were 15 public day-schools, with 1,071 scholars; 33 private day-schools, with 568 s.; 32 Sunday schools, with 2, 175 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 20 s. The workhouse is in Brewood; and, at the census of 1861, had 86 inmates.
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 Penkridge has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of South Staffordshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Penkridge and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Penkridge in South Staffordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 18th June 2013
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