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Pensnett shown within the West Midlands
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||West Midlands|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||BRIERLEY HILL|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Dudley South|
Pensnett is an area of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, West Midlands, England. It is situated three miles south-west of Dudley and two miles north of Brierley Hill. In 1966, Pensnett joined the County Borough of Dudley which became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley in 1974.
The present Pensnett covers a small portion of what was a large common called Pensnett Chase in Kingswinford parish, but contiguous with Dudley Wood in Dudley. As such, it belonged to the lords of the manor, descending as part of the Dudley estate from medieval times. With Dudley Wood, it is probably the woodland mentioned in the Domesday Book, as belonging to those manors.
The name is from the Celtic 'pen', for hill and the Anglo-Saxon 'snaed' for 'a piece of woodland'. For many years, it was used as commonland, for animal grazing although also a hunting reserve of the lords of Dudley. Pensnett Chase was inclosed, under the Pensnett Chase Inclosure Act of 1784. This reserved mining rights to the lord of the manor, but included a clause to compensate people for mining subsidence, indicating the industry was well established in the area. The mining of coal and ironstone was long established, and probably goes back to medieval times.
History of Pensnett
The present settlement of Pensnett dates only from the period after the inclosure of Pensnett Chase. Pensnett was made part of the parish of St Mark's, Pensnett in 1844. Towards the end of the 19th century the face of the area began a period of dramatic change. Several factories were built in Pensnett and the factory workers were mostly employed in the iron and steel industries. Many terraced houses with shop fronts were developed along the village's High Street around the start of the 20th century, but the biggest changes were yet to come.
After World War I, Brierley Hill Urban District Council followed the example of almost every other local authority in Britain and built houses which were to be rented out to working-class families. Several hundred council houses were built in the Pensnett area between 1920 and 1966, although a large percentage of the village's homes were privately owned.
Pensnett lies in the Brierley Hill DY5 postal district. Due to its proximity to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre, which was built during the 1980s, the roads around Pensnett are nowadays extremely congested. As long ago as the early 1990s, there were plans to build a relief road around Pensnett, but they have yet to come to fruition.
Pensnett is home to the Pensnett Trading Estate, which has gradually expanded since about 1970. It was mostly developed in the 1980s and is so named as to reflect its location in the Pensnett area of the town near the border with Kingswinford. It includes many industrial and commercial businesses, and since 2000 has included a Travel West Midlands bus depot which replaced a depot in the Merry Hill Shopping centre.
Pensnett Halt railway station closed in the 1960s and the freight sidings closed in 1994.
The local secondary school is the Pensnett High School in Tiled House Lane  which was previously known as Pensnett School of Technology and Pensnett Secondary Modern School, having opened in 1932. The school changed from Pensnett School of Technology to Pensnett High School in 2007. However, after much speculation about its future, it was scheduled for a phased closure beginning in July 2011, with the 12 and 13 year old pupils transferring to new schools in September that year, and no 11 year olds being admitted. However, the school's oldest two year groups will remain at the school to complete their studies before it finally closes completely in July 2013. Most children living in the Pensnett area will now attend Crestwood School in Kingswinford or Holly Hall Academy in Dudley.
The nearest primary school is Bromley Pensnett Primary School, situated just around the corner from the Pensnett High School.
The local authority's Learning Support centre was situated on Birds Meadow from 1978 until 1989, within the buildings of the former Birds Meadow Infant School which dated back to the 1930s. The site was redeveloped for private housing in the early 1990s.
- Domesday Book.
- Guide to Staffordshire and the Black Country, The Potteries and the Peak, p 249, Michael Raven.
- "A History of Brierley Hill, Dudley Council". Dudley.gov.uk. 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- "Hansard". Hansard.millbanksystems.com. 1937-12-14. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- "Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council - Secondary School List". Dudley.gov.uk. 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
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