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About Penrith

 

 

Penrith is a market town in the county of Cumbria, England. Penrith lies less than 3 miles (5 km) outside the boundaries of the Lake District National Park. Historically a part of Cumberland, the local authority is Eden District Council, which is based in the town. Penrith was formerly the seat of both Penrith Urban and Rural District Councils. Penrith has no town council of its own, and is an unparished area.

It is in the Eden Valley, just north of the River Eamont. Other local rivers bounding the town are the River Lowther and the River Petteril. A partially man-made watercourse, known as Thacka Beck, flowing through the centre of the town, connects the Rivers Petteril and Eamont. For many centuries, the Beck provided the town with its main water supply. Thacka Beck nature reserve provides flood storage which protects homes and businesses in Penrith.

 

 

 

 

 

Market Square, Penrith.jpg
The Market Square

 

 

 

History

 

 

It is generally accepted that the name Penrith is of Cumbric origin, though the exact etymology of the name has been debated.

Several toponymists, favour a derivation from the local equivalents to theWelsh or Cumbric pen 'head, chief' (both noun and adjective) + Cumbric 'rid', Welsh rhyd 'ford'. On this basis, the name would therefore mean 'chief ford', 'hill ford' or Whaley's suggestion: 'the head of the ford' or 'headland by the ford'.

Objections to this theory have been raised on the grounds that the present town of Penrith lies around 1 mile from the nearest crossing point on the River Eamont at Eamont Bridge. An alternative has been suggested consisting of the same pen element meaning 'hill' + the equivalent of Welsh rhudd 'red'. The name 'red hill' may refer to the large Beacon Hill to the north east of the current town. There is also a place called 'Redhills' to the south west near the M6 motorway.

 

 

 

Governance

 

 

Penrith was an urban district between 1894 and 1974, when it was merged into Eden District.

The authority's area was coterminous with the civil parish of Penrith although when the council was abolished Penrith became an unparished area.

The area had previously been an urban sanitary district presided over by the Local Board of Health.

As well as the town of itself the district also contained the hamlets of Carleton (now a suburb of Penrith), Bowscar, Plumpton Head and part of the village of Eamont Bridge.

The district was divided into 4 wards: North, South, East and West, which remained the basis of local government divisions in the town until the 1990s.

 

Local government divisions




For the purposes of electing councillors to Eden District Council the unparished area of Penrith is divided into six wards:

Penrith West which includes Castletown and parts of the town centre and Townhead.

Penrith North: part of the town centre, the New Streets, most of Townhead and the outlying settlements of Roundthorn, Bowscar and Plumpton Head.

Penrith South: Wetheriggs, Castle Hill, a small part of the town centre, part of Eamont Bridge and part of the Bridge Lane/Victoria Road area.

Penrith East: part of the town centre, Scaws, Carleton Park and Barco

Penrith Carleton (formerly part of Penrith East): Carleton Village, High Carleton, Carleton Heights, Carleton Hall Gardens

Penrith Pategill (also formerly part of Penrith East): Pategill, Carleton Drive/Place, Tynefield Drive/Court and part of Eamont Bridge.

Penrith West and South wards make up the Penrith West Electoral Division of Cumbria County Council whereas East, Carleton and Pategill wards combine to form Penrith East division. Penrith North, along with the rural Lazonby ward, makes up Penrith North division.

 

 

 

 

Landmarks

 

 

 

The Giant's Grave in 1835.

 

 

Dockray Hall

 

The ruins of Penrith Castle (14th-16th centuries) can be seen from the adjacent railway station. The castle is run as a visitor attraction by English Heritage. To the south-east of the town are the more substantial ruins of Brougham Castle, also under the protection of English Heritage.

To the south of the town are the ancient henge sites known as Mayburgh Henge and King Arthur's Round Table. Both are under the protection of English Heritage.

In the centre of the town is the Clock Tower, erected in 1861 to commemorate Philip Musgrave of Edenhall. Hutton Hall, on Folly Lane, preserves a 14th-century pele tower at the rear, attached to an 18th-century building. The Gloucester Arms public house, formerly known as Dockray Hall, is said to date from c1470 and may incorporate the remains of another pele tower.

Penrith has been noted for the number of wells in and around the town, and well-dressing ceremonies were commonplace on certain days in the month of May. Three miles south-east of the town, on the River Eamont are the "Giants' caves", where the well was dedicated to St. Ninian. The caves are enlarged out of Lower Permiansandstones and their associated breccias and purple shales.

Just to the north of the town is the wooded signal-beacon hill, naturally named Beacon Hill, but originally called Penrith Fell.[disambiguation needed]. It last use was probably in 1804 in the war against Napoleon. Traditionally, the Beacon Pike was used to warn of approaching danger from Scotland. Today, although surrounded by a commercial woodland owned by Lowther Estates, the hill still contains some natural woodlands and is a popular local and tourist attraction. On a clear day the majority of the Eden Valley, the local fells, Pennines and parts of the North Lakes can be seen. It is almost certain that the Beacon Hill gave Penrith its name - in Celtic - of "red hill".

A fibreglass 550 cm (18 ft)-tall statue of King Kong once stood in the Skirsgill Auction Mart.





Transport

 

 

Situated just off Junction 40 of the M6 motorway, the A66, the A6 and the A686 intersect in the town.

Penrith is also a stop on the West Coast Main Line, with the town's station (dating from 1846) officially known as 'Penrith North Lakes'. Since the upgrade to the West Coast Main Line was completed in 2008, the number of trains stopping at Penrith was reduced and the town now has an irregular service of fast trains to/from London, Birmingham, Manchester,Glasgow and Edinburgh.

National Express operate 2 long distance coach routes with stops in Penrith.

The National Cycle Network's major National Route 7 runs through the town, and National Route 71 stops just short of the southern edge of the town.

Penrith has a number of taxi firms operating in the town which are licensed by Eden District Council. The main taxi rank is on Sandgate in the middle of town and there is also one outside the Railway Station which is useful for commuters.

 

 

Education

 

 

Primary schools

Secondary schools

Further Education

Former schools in the town include:

 

 

 

Churches

 

 

Church of England

Roman Catholic Church

Methodist Church of Great Britain

Others



 

 

 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrith,_Cumbria


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