St Michael's Church, Penselwood
Penselwood shown within Somerset
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Police||Avon and Somerset|
|Fire||Devon and Somerset|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Penselwood is a village and civil parish in the English county of Somerset. It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) north east of Wincanton, 4 miles (6.4 km) south east of Bruton, 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Mere, and 5 miles (8.0 km) north west of Gillingham. The south-east of the parish borders Zeals and Stourhead in Wiltshire, and Bourton in Dorset. In 1991 the parish occupied 523 hectares (1,292 acres).
The name came from early mediaeval "Penn in Selwood": "Penn" came from Celtic penn = "head", probably referring to a hill; and "Selwood" referring to the Selwood Forest which once surrounded the area.
A couple of miles north of the village amidst the trees is the remains Kenwalch's Castle, an Iron Age hill fort which may be the location of the Battle of Peonnum in 658, mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The English also made a stand here against the Viking invader Cnut the Great in 1016.
The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.
The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of South Somerset, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Wincanton Rural District. The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.
Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.
It is also part of a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
Penselwood is the setting for James Long's book Ferney, which mentions many of the historical events that took place in or near the village.
- "Statistics for Wards, LSOAs and Parishes — SUMMARY Profiles" (Excel). Somerset Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- British History Online (1999). "'Penselwood', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 7: Bruton, Horethorne and Norton Ferris Hundreds.". pp. 184–192. Retrieved 2006-08-16.
- "The Leland Trail". Discover South Somerset. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
- Bush, Robin (1994). Somerset: The complete guide. Wimborne: The Dovecote Press Ltd. p. 167. ISBN 1-874336-26-1.
- Havinden, Michael. The Somerset Landscape. The making of the English landscape. London: Hodder and Stoughton. p. 79. ISBN 0-340-20116-9.
- "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Adkins, Lesley and Roy (1992). A Field Guide to Somerset Archaeology. Wimborne, Dorset: Dovecote Press. ISBN 0-946159-94-7.
- "Wincanton RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Penselwood.|
- Village website
- Description of Penselwood in 1868
- Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership (June 2003). "Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs, Land Character Assessment, Type 7: Greensand Hills, 7B Penselwood – Longleat Hills." (PDF). pp. 183–189. Retrieved 2010-10-07.