"PENISTONE, is a very small market town in the parish of its name, and in a high moorland district near the northern source of the river Don, in the Wapentake of Staincross and the honor of Pontefract; 13 miles N W of Sheffield, 8 miles S W by W of Barnsley 13 miles S E of Huddersfield and 177 miles N N W of London. It consist principally of one wide street, in which are a few neat houses; but it is now a place of no trade, though the linen and woollen manufactures extend into some of the out townships of its extensive parish; and there are a few weavers in the town, where there was formerly a cloth hall. The Market, held every Thursday is of small importance, except or the sale of cows, calves, moor sheep, and butter. The Fairs are held on the Thursday before Feb 28th, the last Thursday in March, and May 12th, for cattle; and Thursday before October 20th for sheep. The township of Penistone contains only 703 inhabitants, and about 1,000 acres of land, belonging to Shrewsbury Hospital, in Sheffield; Thos. Worsley, Esq,. and several smaller freeholders. The Hon. G Bosville, as heir of the late Lord Macdonald, is lord of the manor and patron of the vicarage, which is worth about £150 a year, and is enjoyed by the Rev. Martin J Naylor, D. D. of Wakefield, for whom the Rev. S Sunderland officiates. The church is dedicated to St John, has a nave, chancel, and aisles, with a tower at the west end, and from its elevated situation, is seen from a considerable distance. The Methodists have a small chapel in the town. The Parish of Penistone comprises also the townships of Denby, Gunthwaite, Hunshelf, Ingbirchworth, Langsett, Oxspring, and Thurlstone; all of which will be described in the second volume of this work. They all participate in the benefits of two free schools, the town, and in several charitable bequests, of which the following is a summary view;-
THE FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL was found, by an inquisition taken in the 1st of James I to have been endowed from time immemorial, with several messuages, lands, and yearly rent charges. Since then, the school property has been partly exchanged. It now consists of several houses, and 22A. 2R. 10p. of land, in Penistone; 5A. 1R. 14p in Denby, and rent charges amounting to £6. 4s. 4d. per annum. The rents of this property, with about £38 received yearly from Samuel Wordsworth's Charity yield to the master an annual stipend of £110. The school is free to all the sons of parishioners, for English reading, and the classics, but a small charge is made for writing and accounts. The late master, (Mr Jonathan Wood) was appointed in 1786, and held the office about half a century.
SAMUEL WORDSWORTH, in 1703, bequeathed £400 for the church and Free Grammar School, and £100 for the poor parishioners. Both legacies were laid out in the purchase of four houses, and 50A, 3R. 23P. of land, at Thwong, now let for £118. 10s. per annum. The clear rents, after deducting £5. 5s. a year, as the agent's salary, are apportioned as follows, Viz., one fifth to the poor, and of the remainder, three fifths to the vicar, and two fifths to the schoolmaster. Lord Wharncliffe and others are trustees.
THREE YEARLY DOLES belong to the poor of the parish, viz. one quarter of rye, left by Wm. Turton, in 1559, out of a farm at Hoxley gate, in Denby; 26s. 8d. left by Edward Booth, out of lands at Dean Head, near Hunshelf; and 20s. left by Wm. Rich, in 1673, out of lands at Hornthwaite. The poor of Penistone township have the rents of three cottages, purchased with £25 left by Fras. Burdett, Wm. Sotwell, and Joanna Swift. They have also two yearly rent charges, viz., 20s. left by Sir Thurston Bycliff and Alderman Micklethwaite, out of a farm at Silkstone; and 3s. left by John Wordsworth, out of Water Hall estate. The trustees of Shrewsbury's Hospital, in Sheffield, are proprietors of the GREAT TITHES of Penistone, subject to the following yearly payments, viz., 6s. 8d. for the reparation of the church windows; 6s. 8d. for the poor; and 3s. 4d. for bread and ale for the poor, on the Thursday before Easter."