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Penistone shown within South Yorkshire
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|Metropolitan county||South Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Penistone and Stocksbridge|
Penistone (pron.: // PEN-is-tən) is a small market town and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, in South Yorkshire, England, with a population of 10,101 at the 2001 census. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it lies 8 miles (13 km) west of the town of Barnsley and 17 miles (27 km) north-east of Glossop, in the foothills of the Pennines. Penistone town centre stands at an elevation of 750 feet (230 m) above sea level. Rising steeply to the highest point in the surrounding area at Hartcliffe Tower at 1,194 ft (364 m) above sea level, with stunning views over the Woodhead bypass and the Dark Peak. The surrounding immediate countryside is predominantly rural and lends itself to farming on rich well watered soil on mainly gentle slopes rising to the rugged/bleak moorland, otherwise known as the dark peak, just to the west of Penistone town centre. Dry stone walls, small hamlets and farms surrounded by fields and livestock are synonymous with the area. Famous for its rugged breed of sheep, the Whitefaced Woodland, Penistone continues to thrive as an independent upland market town.
Penistone is a compound word formed from the Welsh Celtic roots penn, meaning "end" or "head" or "hill" (similar to Penn in the West Midlands) and is meaning "below"; with the suffix ton, meaning "enclosure" or "estate" (a cognate of the Old English root tun, meaning "farm" or "village"). Records of the name as Penstun (1143) and Penstone (n.d.) prove the second element is Old English tūn (instead of Old English stān, meaning "stone", as might be suggested). Thus the name Penistone means "The town below the hill".
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 1086 as "wasted".
Sir Gyles Penyston (fl. 13th century), whose family seat was in Cornwall (perhaps at Truro) prior to his time, and who is an ancestor of the Penyston Baronets, was styled of Penyston, denoting that he resided in Penistone.
The town remained small until the coming of the railway in 1845, although several pre-19th-century buildings survive. The oldest still standing is 'Penistone Church'. This is the Grade I listed mediaeval parish church, St. John the Baptist Church. The White Hart pub in the town dates from 1377. Penistone had a market for a long time before its royal charter was granted in 1699, although its historic livestock market was closed recently to make way for town centre re-development. A new landmark building has been built in Penistone for the Market Place. This is an oaken 'Cruck Barn' and was built by Carpenter Oak of Totnes, Devon.
The M.S. and L. (Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway), Sheffield to Dunford Bridge railway line and the three-mile Woodhead Tunnel opened, 15 July 1845. Conditions were harsh, with 32 men dying in the construction of the tunnel and a further 28 dying of cholera. In 1849, Penistone's spectacular 29-arch viaduct was built by Messrs Ingham and Bower. The stone was obtained from Walk Mill bank, Oxspring, and conveyed by a tramway on the side of the River Don. M.S. and L.'s Penistone to Huddersfield Railway Line opened 1 July 1850. The second and third arches of Penistone Viaduct collapsed, 2 February 1916, along with a stationary goods locomotive, when heavy rain weakened the foundations. The collapse was slow enough for the driver and fireman to jump clear and survive the crash. Cracks in parapet had been observed some days earlier. The viaduct was repaired and back in service in August of the same year.
Penistone became a major railway junction, including a depot for engineering trains. Penistone station was once a well-used interchange with the reputation of being one of the coldest in the country. It had frequent trains to Manchester, Sheffield and Huddersfield but, after Dr Beeching's 'axe' fell, passenger trains on the Woodhead Line to Manchester finished. Goods trains continued for a number of years but eventually also came to an end. The existing Hope Valley line between Sheffield and Manchester took the freight which would have been on the Woodhead Line and much of the former railway infrastructure was removed. The town's station is still open, but is now only served by Huddersfield-Sheffield trains on the "Penistone Line".
The town was formerly served by the Woodhead Line which ran between Manchester (Piccadilly), Hadfield and Sheffield (Victoria) via the Woodhead Tunnel. Penistone station was served by express passenger trains on the line. Following major investment (started in 1935 but delayed by the Second World War), the electrification of the railway was completed in 1954; the line's power control centre was built adjacent to Penistone station. This building still stands, but has been converted to alternative commercial use. The Woodhead Line was the first main line railway in the UK to be electrified, but its once-pioneering 1500 V dc system was ultimately to become non-standard. Penistone station lost its Woodhead Line passenger trains on 5 January 1970, but goods trains (mainly coal) continued for a further eleven years. The line was finally (and controversially) closed in 1981 and the track lifted several years later. The route of the old track is now being used as part of the Trans-Pennine Trail.
Recent plans to re-open parts of the Woodhead line as the Don Valley Railway are being taken increasingly seriously by planners, though current plans are from Sheffield to Deepcar/Stocksbridge only and not extending to Penistone. The line would reduce travel time to Sheffield from the current 45 minutes to around 15 minutes.
- Penistone Town Hall (which now houses Barnsley Council's flagship frontline service 'Barnsley Connects'.Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council is responsible for major local government issues and there is also Penistone Town Council which looks after local matters. The first part of Penistone Town Council meetings are open to the public, who may put questions for the first ten minutes. The meeting then goes into private session for the second part. Meetings occur on the third Monday of every month except August and start at 7.00pm prompt. An annual council assembly occurs every June in the community centre, where public accounts are received by the public, who can also put questions and comments to the council for the first ten minutes.
- Royd Moor Wind Farm
- Penistone has a thriving market, although smaller since the building of a Tesco supermarket in 2011 which reduced the market footprint. The cattle market which used to be the centre of the farming livestock trade has long since gone although live animal trading does still occur in the Fur n Feathers market which is held each week. At 747ft Penistone is the highest market town in England.
- Saint John the Baptist Church - Church of England
- St Andrew's Church - Methodist / United Reformed 
Radio station 
Penistone has its own radio station. Formed in 2005 Penistone FM operated a trial broadcast in September 2006 and successfully applied for a full-time licence. Penistone FM was renamed Penistone Community Radio/Penistone AM as the Community Radio Licence was initially awarded on the Medium Wave band, however Ofcom cleared an FM frequency for the station. Penistone FM started test transmissions on 95.7 MHz FM on Saturday 9 May 2009 and officially launched on Saturday 6 June 2009, with its licence running for five years.
Sport and recreation 
- The local football team is Penistone Church F.C., who play home matches at the Memorial Ground in Church View Road.
- Penistone Cricket and Sports Club has a ground in Sheffield Road.
- Penistone Paramount Cinema
- Penistone footpath runners and athletics club
- Penistone Bowling Club, Back Lane.
Grammar school 
Penistone Grammar School was founded in 1392. Notable former pupils include mathematician Nicholas Saunderson, and Anne Campbell, who served as MP for Cambridge until May 2005. In 2011 most of the old school was demolished, a new school was built and opened in 2011. Although the official and legal name is still Penistone Grammar School, the new school is generally being referred to as Penistone Grammar Advanced Learning Centre (Penistone Grammar ALC). Other local schools include St John's Junior School, St John's Infant School and Spring Vale Primary School.
Official events and redevelopment plans 
Penistone Show is an annual agricultural show which draws in crowds from across the county. It is thought to be the biggest one-day show in Yorkshire and is held on the second Saturday in September. As well as ordinary agricultural categories for sheep, cows, goats, and chickens entries are received in horticulture, handicraft, show jumping, pigeons, dogs, photography and many more categories.
The annual 'Parade Weekend' has become established as an important time on Penistone's June calendar. The Saturday has two music events on the Showground: a concert of light music in the afternoon and an evening Rock concert. On the Sunday, a major Parade and Gala takes place. The Parade goes through the middle of Penistone and the Gala takes place on the Showground.
The first Penistone Folk Festival occurred in June 2011 in the then new Market Barn. It was one of the first public ventures to happen in the new building. This is now set to be an annual charity event and occurs at around the same date as the earlier 'Penistone Sing', on the festival of St John.
Penistone Farmers' Market is a monthly farmers' market on the second Saturday of every month. Local farmers and producers of foods and crafts bring local produce direct to the public. The market is open to all traders selling more than 50% of their own produce and based within a fifty mile radius of Penistone. The Farmers' Market is held in the market place.
On Yorkshire Day, 1 August 2006, Penistone played host to the now annual gathering of Lord Mayors, Mayors and other civic heads from Yorkshire. The day was marked with a service at Penistone Parish Church, a parade around the town and a meal for invited guests at Penistone Grammar School. Other events included free films and an evening of music at the Paramount Cinema, an exhibition at St John's Community Centre and Hartcliff Tower was open to the public again. There were Morris dancers, a farmers' market, a shop window competition and an historic organ concert at St. Andrew's Church. The day was taken seriously by its organisers and some of the roads on the procession route were resurfaced for the event.
The new Market Cruck Barn was officially opened, jointly by Cllr Steve Webber (Penistone Mayor) and Cllr Karen Dyson (Barnsley Mayor) at 1pm on Thursday 21 July 2011.
Supermarket and town centre redevelopment 
Penistone received a lot of media coverage in March 2007 after decisions were made to build a large supermarket in the town centre. It was announced that Barnsley Council had agreed proposals submitted by Tesco to go ahead with building. Despite major local opposition, especially to its proposed location close to the showground, and worries that local businesses may suffer, in Spring 2010 construction of the new Tesco store began and it is now open. There are currently plans for many new houses and a new commercial centre to continue regenerating the town.
Notable people 
- Kate Rusby, folk singer born in Cawthorne.
- Grant Crookes, footballer, Harlepool Utd & Darlington. Now a TV & film actor.
- Rolo Tomassi, Experimental Rock Band.
- Rachael McShane, cellist from Bellowhead, folk band
- Chris Morgan, footballer, defender. Former Barnsley Captain. Current 2011 Sheffield United Club Captain.
Fairtrade Town 
Twin towns 
- Census 2001
- Barns-Graham, Peter (22 May 2009). "Pennyston1". Families Database. Stirnet(subscription required). Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- Oklahome State University website - page about Penistone sheep accessed 21 May 2008
- "CASC Registered Clubs". HM Revenue & Customs. 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
- "UK Twin Towns". Dorset Twinning Association. Archived from the original on 2007-06-24. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
- Penistone Advertiser - local classified adverts
- Visit Penistone
- A Pictorial Tour of Penistone
- Midhopestones Charity Gala 2008
- Penistone FM, Local Radio Station