Visit Penistone - the natural centre o the East Peak
Visit Penistone - montage of scenes from the Penistone area

A Brief History of Penistone

The meaning of Penistone is Old English tun "farm, village" and possibly the Celtic penn meaning hill - similar to Penn in the West Midlands.

Records of the name as Penstun (1143) and Penstone (n.d.) prove the second element is Old English tun "farm, village" (not Old English stan, stone, as might be suggested).

The history of Penistone can be dated back to 1066 when it was known to be owned by Ailric. However, following the Norman Conquest it was

razed to the ground in 1069 in what became known as the Harrying of the North; the Domesday Book described the settlement in 1089 as 'wasted'.

The town was of little importance until the coming of the railway in 1845 and over time it became a major junction with an engineering depot.

Several pre-19th Century buildings still survive, the oldest being the Grade I listed mediaeval parish church, Saint John the Baptist Church; the White Heart pub in the town dates from 1377.

St. John's Church, Penistone

Penistone Church Montage

There's evidence that Christianity Came to Penistone well over a thousand years ago.

St. John's Church has the remains of a Saxon cross and was no doubt built in wood before being rebuilt in stone during medieval times and becoming the chief centre for Christian worship, education and society in Penistone.

More information about St. John's Church and the four other C of E churches in the parish can be found on Penistone and Thurlstone Team Ministry website:

The Penistone and Thurlstone Team Ministry website also features a virtual tour of the five Curch of England churches in the parish.