English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Penistone

Historical Forms

  • Pengeston(e), Pangeston 1086 DB
  • Peningestun, Peningeston, Penyngeston 12 Brett 1199 P 1204–9 YDiv 1208–11 YCh 1230 P 1232 Ebor 1328 Banco 1428 FA
  • Peningston, Penyngston 1298 Abbr 1301 ADi
  • Penig(g)estun, Penig(g)eston 1208 YCh 1233 Ebor
  • Penigiston 13 YDii
  • Peneg(h)eston(a) 1208–11 YCh 1225 Nost71
  • Penegelston (sic) 1228 Ebor
  • Penigston(e), Penygston(e) 1259–72 YDi 1282 Ebor 1291 Tax
  • Pengeston' 1243 Fees
  • Penyeston 1283 Ch
  • Penyston, Peniston 1295 Ebor 1298 Abbr 14 1301 Ebor 1316 Vill 1329,1346 FF 1332 ADi 1509 DodsN
  • Pennyston 1524 Wheat 1531 Testiv 1539 ib
  • Peningeherst 1227 Pat
  • Pensyke 1422 AD i, 472


The first el. of Penistone is repeated in certain other names in the immediate vicinity, Penisall (in Langsett) 332 supra , Peningeherst 1227 Pat (which is probably an older name for the lost Hyrste f.n. infra ), and possibly an unidentified stream Pensyke 1422 AD i, 472. The original form of the first el. was Peninges - and this was reduced to Penges - by the common change of -ning - to -ng - in words like king from OE  cyning and certain p.ns. like Finghall YN 247 from an earlier Fininghall . In ME  the forms with Penig -, Peni - have clearly followed the development of OE  pening to peni 'penny'. The use of the gen.sg. -es in both Penistone and Penisall might suggest that Pening is an OE pers.n., which could be identical with the rare OE  byname of Dunstan Pēoning (Tengvik 144), but more likely to be an assimilated variety of an OE  Pending , a patronymic formed from the name of Penda , king of Mercia, or from a hypocoristic form of OE  Pendhere , Pendwulf , etc.; the ON  byname Peningr , which Lind BN thinks may be foreign, is possibly this OE  Pen (d )ing , but it could also be the OE  word pen (d )ing 'penny' (according to Dickins, LSE i, 20–1, also derived from the name of king Penda ). In view of the difficulties involved in these personal names, Ekwall makes the alternative suggestion (DEPN s.n.) that we have here an old hill- name Pen (n )ing ; it has much to commend it. This would be an OE p.n. formed from Brit  penno-, OWelsh  penn 'hill, height', with the OE suffix -ing 2 (cf. EPN i, 289 (ii) for parallels, and 288 § 5 for the use of formations of this kind as first els. with the gen.sg. inflexion in -es ). Ekwall notes a possible parallel in a lost hill-name Penningstein howe in Kirkby Lonsdale (We). The name Penning presumably denoted the great ridge lying between the Don and the Little Don; at the foot of the northern side is Penistone, 'the farmstead by Penning ' (v. tūn ), and on the southern slopes was Penisall , 'the hollow on the side of Penning ' (v. halh ); Pensyke and Peningeherst cannot be precisely located.

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site

Other OS name