back to "The Grand Tour" index

Neville Malkin's "Grand Tour" of the Potteries

buildings South of the Potteries


next: The Greyhound Inn, Penkhull
previous:
Mausoleum, Stone Road, Trentham 
contents: index of buildings south of the Potteries

 

No 13 - St. Thomas's Church, Penkhull


Church of St. Thomas the Apostle
Church of St. Thomas the Apostle

View of the church taken from St. Thomas Place.
The Greyhound public house can be seen on the right (yellow building)

photo: December 29th 2000 

 

St Thomas, Rothwell Street, Penkhull (sw).

By Scott & Moffatt, 1843. Built at the expense of the Rev. Thomas Webb Minton. w tower with broach-spire. Transepts and a short chancel. Open timber roof. The style is Middle Pointed. The aisles are by E. P. Warren, 1892 - nothing special. Nor is Scott's work, compared with what he achieved at Holy Trinity.

The surroundings of the church have recently totally changed. They are now pretty modern (even modeme) terraces. A little further s, in and off Valley Road, a garden estate of 1910-14, by W. S. Stewart - ninety-five houses in all

Pevsner - Buildings of England

 

St. Thomas's Church, Penkhull
St. Thomas's Church, Penkhull
pen drawing by Neville Malkin - January 1976

 


"It is not difficult to understand why the ancient Celts decided to settle at Penkhull. From their vantage point on the summit of the hill, high above the Trent Valley and commanding extensive views to east and west, they would have been able to spot the approaching enemy in ample time. Many of the finds made at Penkhull date back to ancient times and almost conclusively prove that an early settlement did exist in the village, probably in the form of a hill-fort similar to those at Darlaston and Maer.

In various documents the name Penkhull is written in a variety of ways-Pen-a-Hill, Pinchetel, Penkel, Penchul, etc. Some say the name might have originally indicated a hall of some Saxon chief, others that it may signify Primrose hill; another possibility is that Pen, the head, and kyl, a kiln, would describe the village in early times when it contained some of the first potteries in the district.

The site of the church of St. Thomas holds an interesting secret that dates back to pagan times. It appears that the inhabitants of Penkhull were at one time called "Penkhull Piles," a title they were not eligible to use until they had been initiated in a ceremony that required them to be drawn through a pool. This pool existed until about 1840 when it was filled in to make ground for the church and churchyard.

The church of St. Thomas was built in 1843 from a design by, Scott and Moffatt, with the Rev. Thomas Webb 'Minton contributing 1,000 towards its endowment; a further grant was made by the Lichfield Diocesan Society for aiding the building and enlarging of churches. It is built in the Middle Pointed style and has an open timber roof, transepts, a short chancel and a broach west tower."


Neville Malkin
7th Jan 1976

 

 

St. Thomas church from the top of  Trent Valley Road
St. Thomas church from the top of  Trent Valley Road
photo: June 2008

In memoriam
the restoration of this church
was inspired by the faith and
dedicated service of
Prebendary Arthur Perry,
Vicar of Penkhull 1956 1967

 

 


next: The Greyhound Inn, Penkhull
previous:
Mausoleum, Stone Road, Trentham 
contents: index of buildings south of the Potteries

 

back to "The Grand Tour" index

  |