Infobox UK place
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= South Ribble
Penwortham is a town on the south bank of the
River Ribblefacing the city of Preston, Lancashire. The town is at the most westerly crossing point of the River Ribble, with major road and rail links crossing here.
The distinctive town name is derived from pen (meaning a hill), weid (meaning ford) and ham (meaning settlement). The town has a population of approximately 21,500 . The town's development mirrors closely that of Preston.
The town of Penwortham is part of the borough of
South Ribbleand its history can be traced back to pre-historic times with archaeological evidence showing that the ford at the Middleforth area was used to cross the Ribble. Penwortham was listed in the Domesday Bookas "Penverdent" and Penwortham Priorywas built in the west of the town. A simple motte-and-baileycastle was built during the post-Norman conquest period overlooking the Ribble and its ford. Some evidence of this castle is still evident in the churchyard of St Mary's Church. In later centuries a manor house was built, but no evidence remains today.
The Middleforth (Lower Penwortham) area was developed during the Victorian period which is evident by the large number of terrace housing standing along Leyland Road and surrounding side streets. Higher Penwortham is characterised by 1920s and post-war semi detached housing. In recent times there has been several new housing developments, especially around the Bee Lane, Kingsfold Drive, Stricklands Lane and Factory Lane areas of the town.
As well as a number of primary schools, the three high schools in Penwortham are Penwortham Girls High, which as the name suggests is female only, All Hallows RC Technology College, and Penwortham Priory Sports and Technology College. All are situated in proximity to Liverpool Road, in the centre of the town. The latter is connected to Penwortham Leisure Centre, whose swimming pool is often used by the general public and a wide age group of school children for swimming lessons.
One of Lancashire's oldest charities, Galloway's Society for the Blind, has had its headquarters in Penwortham since 1950. The charity provides services to some 6500 blind and visually impaired people across Lancashire and beyond.
The area has now nearly merged with Preston with excellent transport links between the two across the river. The town is relatively affluent in comparison to some areas of Preston.
Penwortham has two supermarkets; one is a
Booths, and the other is a Sainsbury's, which was converted from a Kwik Savein 2007. Penwortham Cop Lane railway stationwas once on the West Lancashire Railwaybetween Prestonand Southport, until the line closed in 1964. The cutting which once carried the railway under Cop Lane has been widened and now carries the A582 Penwortham bypass.
Former footballer and now TV pundit
Mark Lawrensonwas brought up in Penwortham.
* [http://www.penworthamtowncouncil.gov.uk Penwortham Town Council]
* [http://archive.thisislancashire.co.uk/1996/10/04/843566.html Simple History of Penwortham]
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