The Heart of Penistone Market Town

This page introduces you to the main shopping street through Penistone. It has seen many cosmetic changes but the general appearance has not changed significantly over the last century. Market Street becomes High Street near the Back Lane approach to the marketplace. There are some other businesses on side streets. Thumbnail pictures on this page are all shapes and sizes from before I standardised them. Some pictures are old, small and poor quality. My apologies for that.

The Changing Face of the Town Centre
Older residents will remember Penistone's retail market being where the Spar is now. It was very open to the elements (Market History page). They will also remember the smell of coffee from Ferguson's shop (later to become the dentist's); also Risden Woodcock's hardware shop (it was always 'coming in next week'); Purdey's wallpaper shop; Raymond Smith's Radio and TV shop; another Mr Smith next door selling sweets and Charlesworth's clothes shop (the official supplier of PGS uniforms) where Yorkshire Building Society is now. In the 1960s, the Clays had a small tobacconists where Zeanti is now, next door to Charlesworth's/YBS. There was a wallpaper shop adjacent to the Spar for a time. The Spar itself changed to something else before becoming the Spar again.

Fieldsend's freezing cold greengocer shop was very popular and they never needed a refridgerator. Cinnamon Spice Indian restaurant is there now (see below). Penistone also had an employment agency and an electricity showroom in the good old days.

At the end of the row (opposite the Spar) was the Conservative Party office with its frequent jumble sales. It looked derelict for many years before it became a Halifax agency/financial advisors and later a café. In the same building, still owned by the Conservatives and above the current Café Cremè, Penistone FM's studios arrived in 2009.

Shop-front refurbishments, licks of paint and new signages appeared in 2005, financed by the 'Market Town Initiative'. The long-time travel agent which later became 'Travelworld' had now turned into the Barnsley Hospice charity shop. The 'World of Video' became Chuck McBurney's betting shop. Mrs. Bailey's cloth shop next to JT's became Mrs. Porter's DIY shop in the 1970s, it changed hands again but continued as a DIY shop until well into the 'noughties'. In the 1960s, there was a dentist above the DIY shop, accessible from the alley. That is now the Mint gent's hairdressers.

The DIY shop went out of business after its rents had been doubled (thereby earning no rent at all) and was empty for a couple of years before becoming the Pennine Letting Agency, after major damp-proofing work. Then it became Butcher Residential. JT's furniture shop also had a refurbishment, to be renamed Jaytees. They also had the carpet shop at the bottom of Shrewsbury Road but that shop changed owners. See the History Section for more detail and pictures of old Penistone.

Market Street in the 60sThe Arthouse

Café Changes
Various eateries have been and gone over the years. The Vicarage Tea Rooms (by the old Post Office) enjoyed a long reign but finally closed in 2008, leaving elderly organ concert visitors with fewer options for a sit-down meal and cup of tea. That was to change. The Rose & Crown stepped in with food and refreshments, then a new cafe sprang up in place of the Halifax office. SK's Café opened in June 2009 and was popular from day one, later to be renamed Café Cremè.

In a relatively short space of time, three more cafes arrived to supplement Ward's Chippie/Café and (for a time) the three pubs who did food. 2010 brought along The Loft - an upstairs coffee bar near the market. In 2011, the ArtHouse Café arrived on Church Street and introduced Penistone to a new experience, with a delicatessen, café and art gallery combined. 2013 brought along two new ideas: The Vintage Tearoom, adjacent to a new antiques shop near Penistone Church and Greggs installed seating for customers to eat and drink there. Café Generation was the most recent, in 2014, and an eat-in cafe or restaurant has long been proposed for the coal drops, when they eventually become shops. See the Cafés page for more detail.

Market StreetHigh Street
Market StreetNatwestOwl

The Start (or End) of Market Street
The first wide picture above is a rainy view of Market Street from the early 2000s and more or less the reference point for this little tour. The white car just beyond the light-coloured Spread Eagle is entering Back Lane, on its way to the marketplace or more likely the Spread Eagle car park around the back. Clark's chemist is the building on the left. If you stand outside Clark's Chemist entrance, look up at the largest chimney stack across the road and look for the owl. It's there, believe me.

The next wide picture is a bit closer. Below them is a similar view to the first but from Jaytee's upstairs window, where their furniture and settees are on show. The Old Crown is the most prominent building on the right of the picture. It is a very old pub and was listed in the West Riding Directory of 1837.

People watchers like me used to sit on benches outside either the Rose and Crown, the Spread Eagle or the Old Crown, watching the boy racers go by with screeching tyres and thumping noises, like some sort of external heart pace-maker. Unfortunately, the only benches available now are those outside the Old Crown. The Rose and Crown is no more and the Spread Eagle has closed.

The middle picture above is of Natwest Bank, right on the corner of St Mary's Street. On very old photos there was a hardware shop on the same site. Just off the picture to the right is a ladies' hairdresser on St Mary's Street. For many years it was in the Swallow family and famous for its standard 'short-back-and-sides' haircut. It stood empty for years before the new business came in.

The old Cloth Hall
The cloth hall failed as a business in the 19th century but the building housed a variety of businesses over the years. Clark's Chemist took part of it over in 1899 and over time took the remaining sections over until it became the large shop it is now. It is still in the hands of the Clark family. The special display shown below-left was part of their centenary celebration in 1999, when each window had its own theme.

In the 1960s, Clarks had only the left side of the building, with the Globe Tea Company on the right. The Globe's entrance was on the front of the building where Clark's is now. At that time, Clark's entrance was the middle arch of the Market Place side, facing the bank. Clark's old entrance was seamlessly converted into a window and now there's no trace of the old doorway.

There was another row of arches on the ginnel side of the building, now bricked up (last picture here), and that is where the entrance to the old British Legion was before it moved to its current site. The British Legion was on an upper floor, as was the White Bear public house, before 1925. The snowy church view below puts the building into context, at the start of Market Street and close to Penistone Church.

AB Clark Clark's side
Clark's front
Snowy Church Clark's ginnel

Up the Street
Penistone Mug from Hallmark Card ShopThe first picture below is of Cinnamon Spice just after Clark's ginnel. It used to be Fieldsend's greengrocer many years ago. Going up its stone steps, Fieldsend's was a very cold shop with no need of a fridge, even at the height of summer. I always pitied the frozen shop girls working there. It has changed hands a few times since then. After a long stint as a café run by Frank Wordsworth's sister, it became Hanwell's café for a few years then 'Carolina's' Italian delicatessen with adjoining café for three or four years. In 2007/8 it became 'Cinnamon Spice', a licensed curry house with a new interior and a good hygiene rating. It sits directly opposite the competing Balti House take-away (which was Horns Inn unitl 1926).

Next door is Peter Holmes' butcher (red awning), who has occupied this shop for as long as I can recall. The Yorkshire word for a fish & chip shop is a 'chipoyl' and Ward's chipoyl is next door. Bert Saville had it a long time, followed by Cedrick 'Edric' Foster (who still lives in the area). He took it in the 1980s. Edric also established the 'Saddler's Cafe' around the corner for a cup of tea or a meal, conveniently close to the bus shelter and public toilets. The Yates' family took the business over in the 1990s but the name changed to Ward's some time in the next decade when Penistone shops tidied up their frontages.

I can recommend my favourite at Wards Chip Shop café, of egg, chips and mushy peas, washed down with strong tea. It is a small, friendly place with regular customers and a good place to zone in to the local community (and pick up on 'the grapevine'). Two pictures below show the chip shop and cafe, as seen from Shrewsbury Road, and you can see a door to the barber's shop above the cafe. The bottom row pictures were taken from their window, when it was called 'Scissor Happy'. It is still a hairdressers but in a more traditional style. Top-right is an inside view of the cafe. The plastic chairs have been replaced by better ones.

Shrewsbury Road leads past an empty building that was until recently Frank Platt's electrical shop (where I bought my telly, washing machine, vacuum cleaner and a radio or two), also: the church, Town Hall/Cinema and a few more businesses before reaching the railway station.

Cinnamon Curry HouseChipsChipshop Cafe
Saddler's CafeCo-operative StoreLooking towards Co-op

Crossing the Road
Now we are on the right side of the road in the next set. The first picture below is an old shot of Back Lane leading to the new Market Barn, which is more or less where you see the cars parked. A radio advert said "Battle through the rain and gales", to encourage people into Penistone's retail market. This is now the site of the £multi-million Market Barn, built entirely from oak by Carpenter Oak. So many changes have taken place in this area and the Market Page hopes to explain it all. The shop just visible to the right is Duncan Roberts' Butcher shop, with a carrier bag tied to its awning to stop pedestrians bashing their heads. Duncan is a well-known character.

Next door was the 'World of Video' but is now Chuck McBurney's betting shop, which is visible in the 2008 picture below, complete with rainbow. Rather quaintly, we call a betting shop a 'turf accountant' or 'bookie' and its windows are, by law, screened out. Chuck's is conveniently close to the Spread Eagle pub next door, which was hovering on the brink of closing permanently in 2014. After a good renovation, it now is thriving and a good place to eat out.

To the right of the Spread Eagle is Belle Visage beauty parlour and Howard and Co. solicitor. The shop was formerly Simon Blyth estate agent which moved around the corner to St Mary's Street. The Balti House is next and then the Old Crown. High up on the Balti House wall is printed 'Bentley's Rotherham Ales', belying its older use as the Horns Inn public house. Apart from some cosmetic changes, anyone from a century ago would instantly recognise these buildings.

Back Lane Market St Spread Eagle Balti House

Crossing the Road Again
Now we are back on the left side of the road. The next pictures are across from Back Lane. First is the recently-closed (as of 2014) Frank Platts' electrical goods shop on the end of Shrewsbury Road. Next, the towering three-storey Rose & Crown on the corner of Shrewsbury Road, with Platt's just visible and an old BT telephone box. Unfortunately, the Rose & Crown's long history as a public house has come to an end. It has been re-shaped into offices for Dransfield's soliticors. BT are trying to make their phone boxes disappear from the UK landscape unless they have listed status.

Looking up the street after the Rose & Crown, we have Penistone IX fashion shop (No.9), Co-op Chemist and Lancasters estate agent. The Co-op Chemist was locally famous for its old weighing machine just inside the door until it fell beyond repair. This picture is a little out of date. After the disasterous finances of the Co-operative Society by mis-management, the chemist was taken over by Well pharmacies but the official change-over did not occur until July 2015. Another victim of the Co-op disaster was that the Co-op Bank (former Brittannia Building Society) closed down. After the Chemist is Lancaster's Estate Agent. Following that is a lane leading to the Post Office sorting office.

Until recent times, Penistone Post Office was down the same lane but moved into GT News on the High Street. Continuing along the street, we have Yorkshire Building Society (not visible here), Zeanti's fashion shop, the Post Office by the pedestrian crossing (former GT News and continuing as newsagent and sweet shop), Greggs' food shop and 'sort-of' cafe, Barnsley Hospice charity shop, Hallmark card shop, Scrivens optician and Café Cremè at the end. These rather poor pictures of Penistone Parade were taken from the steps outside the Co-op.

Frank PlattsRose & CrownCo-op ChemistPost Office.
The shopsHallmark, etc.Parade 2001Parade 2001

Back to Market Street
The first picture below is a long view looking back down Market street and a bit out of date now. If you click on it, you will make out GT news (now the Post Office), Greggs' bakery, a red-fronted shop which was a travel agent (now Hallmark Cards), as in the middle picture. Hallmark cards always decorate their window for Yorkshire Day, unlike most others. Hallmark has a wide range of Penistone merchandise with pictures of the viaduct and Penistone Church.

The red-fronted shop is now Barnsley Hospice. The 2013 panoramic shot covers all of that row of shops in a clearer way than the old picture. The last of the High Street shops are Scrivens opticians and Café Cremè and, just off the picture, the dentists and the great little Adore gift shop.

Market StreetHigh Street
Hallmark flies the flag
Cafe Creme

The Other Side
On the Park Avenue side is the Spar supermarket, with a small car park behind and some parking spaces at the front including the (often disregarded) 'disabled' spot. The first building on the High Street is the Co-operative Food Store. The Co-op had a makeover in 2004 when they installed a new bakery and again in 2010 with new isles, fridges and a lick of paint. The line-up is: the Co-op, Images ladies' hairdresser, Cherrydale Chinese take-away (with upstairs restaurant), the empty Co-operative Bank building (former Britannia Building Society), Howard and Co solicitor, Belle Visage beauty salon, Chheky Monkeys children's clothes, Happy Days gift and card shop, the 4Life tattoo parlour and the entrance to Back Lane and Market Barn.

Just around the corner on Back Lane, before entering the market area, there is Mane Man gent's hairdresser. After Back Lane, it's Roberts' family butcher, Chuck McBurney's bookie, trading as McBurney Racing, then the Spread Eagle, Simon Blyth estate agents, the Balti House, the Old Crown and NatWest Bank, which is on the corner with St Mary's Street. There are two Back Lanes in Penistone. The other one is by Penistone Bowling Club, just above Tesco car park.

Back Top Home George S. Patton: 'If you tell people where to go but not how to get there, you'll be amazed at the results.'