Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for PENSHURST

PENSHURST, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Sevenoaks district, Kent. The village stands at the confluence of the rivers Eden and Medway, 1½ mile S of the Southeastern railway, and 4½ S W of Tunbridge; was anciently called Penchester; is a pretty place; and has a station with telegraph on the railway, a post-office‡ under Tunbridge, and a fair on 26 June. The parish contains also the hamlet of FordcombeGreen. Acres, 4, 526. Real property, £9, 176. Pop., 1, 698. Houses, 325. The manor belonged, at the Norman conquest, to the Penchesters; passed to the Poultneys, the Louvaines, the St. Cleres, the Bohuns, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, and the Fanes; was given, by Edward VI., to Sir W. Sidney; and, with Penshurst Castle, belongs now to Lord de L' Isle. The castle was mainly rebuilt in 1570-85; figures in some graphic lines by Ben Jonson; is aquadrangular structure, in florid Tudor architecture, with a spacious court. includes a portion, called the King's Tower, restored in 1862; contains a grand hall, datingfrom 1349, in which James I. was entertained; contains also an apartment, called Queen Elizabeth's room, withfurniture said to have been presented by Elizabeth herself; contains likewise a splendid collection of paintings and old armour; was the birthplace of Sir Philip Sidney, of " Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother, " of Algernon Sidney, and of Dorothy Sidney, Waller's " Sacharissa; "and stands in beautiful grounds, formerly of vast extent, and still containing beautiful gardens, Sidney's oak, Sacharissa's walk, and Sancup well. South Park is the seat of Viscount Hardinge; Red Leaf, of A. Glendinning, Esq.; and Culver Hill, of J. Nasmyth, Esq. There are a large cricket ball and bat manufactory, and a largepaper-mill. The living is a rectory, united with the chapelry of Fordcombe, in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £756.* Patron, Lord de L' Isle. The churchadjoins P. Castle; was recently restored; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with pinnacled tower; and contains an effigies of a Penchester, and brasses and monuments of the Sidneys. Fordcombe chapel was built in 1847, as a memorial to the Gen. Viscount Hardinge; and is in the early English style. There are a Baptist chapel, a national school, a parochial school, and alms-houses.—The sub-district contains also five other parishes. Acres, 28,025. Pop., 7, 288. Houses, 1, 361.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village, a parish, and a sub-district"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Penshurst AP/CP       Penshurst SubD       Sevenoaks PLU/RegD       Kent AncC
Place names: PENCHESTER     |     PENSHURST
Place: Penshurst

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