A Tour of Penistone - Aerial Views

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These aerial views of Penistone were taken on Penistone Mayor's Parade and Gala day in 2,000 from a helicopter ride which had cost just £20. It also tested out a new and borrowed digital camera which I was not familiar with. It was not set up properly for the best resolution. In fact, these pictures are really dire in quality and you will need to squint somewhat to make sense of them. My apologies but the originals appear to have gone missing, along with all hope of improvement. Of course, these still pictures were taken long before drone cameras had been invented.

Gaining Height
From the Showground we gained height in an anti-clockwise direction. The Western extremes are close by. Many dwellings were built in the eighties and we nicknamed some of them 'Outspan Houses' after their flimsy construction. I won't say which ones. Daren't fly too close to them.

WestChapel LaneSouth

The first view is dominated by a lane between Bluebell Avenue on its left and Pengeston Road to its right. Top-left is the green rectangle of a school football field. New housing arrived in this area in the nineties. This picture gives an impression of great housing density but at least everyone has a garden of some kind or at least some grass to cut. The lane is a popular route for walkers and it crosses fields until it reaches the Trans-Pennine Trail.

The centre picture is bisected by Hartcliff Road, leading from Chapel Lane towards Hartcliff Tower, with Brockholes Lane visible to its right. Even further to the right is part of Cubley's housing. Some time after 2015, a very large housing estate was built off Chapel Lane, with its connecting road a little way above the rather tight corner. To reduce the road safety danger at the corner, a set of traffic lights was fitted. The lay of the land has a sharp dip which would largely disguise the new houses if we were to take the same picture again.

The third picture shows the clear horseshoe shape of Cubley, to Penistone's South, with Cubley wood above it and Mortimer Road to its bottom-right. This was near the former 'Race Common' area, where horse races were held in the nineteenth century. The name lives on in Racecommon Avenue. More housing on the left arrived in the eighties. The green area inside the horseshoe has a children's recreation area and used to have garages but they were removed when Barnsley Council discovered that a row of houses would fit in the gap. Also visible is Cubley Hall, an orphanage for most of the last century but now a successful gastro-pub. The original plans for Cubley used are on display in the pub but you can also find them on the Cubley History page.

Green Road and Brown's Steelworks
How quickly does a current picture become a historic picture? Twenty years in the case of the photo below, which is actually full-sized (sorry). It was taken in the year 2,000, or possibly a bit later on another helicopter ride, but several housing developments have since been built. The industrial area bottom-right of the former David Brown's (later Hi-tech) steelworks is now much smaller and largely covered in red-brick houses. The road which diagonally cuts across the foreground is Green Road and the prominent offshoot curved at the bottom is Ward Street.

Near the top-middle is an oval-shaped grassy area of Unwin Crescent, which had been very well-kept by local residents (particularly Mrs Hattersley) and was abundant in flowers and greenery until Barnsley Council unceremoniously fenced half of it off and dumped their building materials on it in the 1980s. They did eventually take their stuff away but the former beauty of that central area never fully recovered from their intrusion. The white objects at the top are marquees at the Gala on the Showground.

aerial view

On the right, just above the works, is Penistone Church Football Club on Church View Road. You can clearly see the outline of the football field, even in this grotty picture but you can see it better in the first picture in the group below. The darker rectangle is a tarmacked and high-fenced football training area, rather like a tennis court.

Near to top-right, you might make out a vague diagonal line which marks out the route of the Trans-Pennine Trail on what used to be the old Woodhead Line, Penistone's railway link between Sheffield Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly. A woody are just below it is Penistone Church within a rectangle of trees to obscure its view. A bit higher at top-right, the new Penistone Grammar School at netherfield had not yet been built. That would arrive lower down on the site of the Netherfield old people's home (and former workhouse). Near top-left is a lighter patch of grass which was (is?) used by the St John's junior school just above it. At the bottom, of the grass is the youth club and an old people's home. Since this picture was taken, the old people's home was re-built and is now called Buckingham Care home (or 'Buckingham Palace' to everyone else).

Penistone Viaduct
In the middle picture here we can see the railway line wending its way over the viaduct towards Denby Dale and Huddersfield, heading to the right. Watermeadows Park is the green patch above the viaduct in the centre and is a popular recreation area for strolling, ball games, kite flying and dog exercise. Penistone viaduct has 29 arches and its curvature is on a half-mile radius. It is also the natural boundary between town and country, with the fields shown here below being used for farming.

Almost visible is Water Hall, the former home of the Wordsworth family and ancestors to the famous poet. Near to it are streets named after Keats, Tennyson and Shelley, nicknamed 'Poets Corner.' This was an improvement over the older one of the 'Boston Tip' (Wentworth Road area). There is also an anomalous road in Penistone, Wordsworth Avenue is another poet and the one most famously connected with Penistone. It nowhere near Water Hall but off Chapel Lane a good distance away.

The line of trees in the same picture marks out the course of Penistone's river, the Don. Apart from Water Hall, there were no houses before 1977 between the Don and Wentworth Road, which runs parallel to the river and to its left here. The housing area to the right arrived in the early eighties, with its streets named from the Lake District, such as Windermere Road, as a nod towards the poet Wordsworth. Although this view has not changed much over the years, a major housing development is scheduled to take place in the green area top-right, between Wellhouse lane and the Grammar School, which would be bottom-right on the next picture.

centre viaductWellhouse Lane

The main feature of the last and unremarkable picture here is Wellhouse Lane, leading from Barnsley Road and up a steep hill which flattens out until it reaches a bridge over the Penistone-Huddersfield railway line. The bridge is the zig-zag at the bottom of the picture. Unfortunately, that lovely green field to its right is destined to be the large housing estate mentioned above, to fulfil Barnsley Council's quota of new houses and to generate all of that lovely council tax for them to spend elsewhere. As I said somewhere else, 'Don't get me started!'

The top of Wellhouse Lane joins the very busy A629 road between Huddersfield and Sheffield at one of its fastest points, which is set to become even busier as the new houses arrive. That's enough of that, it must be time for the helicopter to land now.

This page was originally written in 2,000 and was one of the oldest and untouched pages on the website until it was updated (words, not pictures) in 2021. It is possible that the number of dwellings in the Penistone district has doubled over twenty to thirty years. For a more modern aerial view of Penistone, take a look at a particular Youtube video: 'Aerial Photography of Penistone,' taken by Professor Ridley-Duff of Sheffield University. Also, take a look at aerial views from 1993.

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