The History of Stoke-on-Trent - PENKHULL - the first Settlement

The first Settlements

The hill-top village of Penkhull was probably the earliest inhabited place within the area now known as the Potteries, being settled by the Celts, Romans and Anglo-Saxons in turn. It was ideally situated by reason of its wooded hunting grounds, its clear views over the surrounding countryside and its closeness to the streams in the Lyme Valley on the western, and the Trent Valley on the eastern side.
The village may have been protected by a primitive hill-fort, although no remains of such a construction have been discovered. In 1086, the Domesday Book described the Manor of Penkhull (which it called "Pinchetel") as a village of great size, with over 1,000 acres of arable land stretched out over parts of present-day Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hanley, Shelton, Stoke and Boothen.

The rise of the "New Castle"

However, soon after this survey was taken, Penkhull began to decline in importance with the building of a New Castle nearby. A market town quickly grew up within sight of this castle and by the year 1173, the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme ("New Castle under the Elm Trees") had been established. This borough was to remain the largest centre of population and leading market town in the area for the next 600 years until the rise of the six towns now called Stoke-on-Trent.

Penkhull Christian Fellowship

The church was founded over 50 years ago in 1942 by a local coal merchant Charles Harthen. In common with many ministers of the time he had a full time job as well as the church to pastor. Charlie Harthen founded and ministered in a number of churches in Stoke-on-Trent including Ball Green, Tunstall and Hanley Assemblies of God.