Monday, 6 January 2020

Staffordshire Places (1) : Penkridge

Penkridge is a town in South Staffordshire near to Stafford. People have been living in the area since the Bronze Age and there was also a Roman settlement and fort in the area. Penkridge was first mentioned in 958, though had probably existed for some time beforehand. It was a settlement in the kingdom of Mercia.

Penkridge's early importance was due to the church of St Michael which was a collegiate church with a chapel royal set aside for use by the king. The town grew economically after the reign of Henry III who relaxed the restrictions on land use around Cannock Chase near the town. The town began to have a weekly market and was famous for it's horse fair.

Like many small towns Penkridge grew in size and economic importance following the arrival of new transport links. Penkridge station is a stop on the West Coast Main Line, the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal also passes nearby. In more modern times nearby motorway links have seen the town population greatly increase.