Online Encyclopedia

PENSHURST

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 118 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PENSHURST, a village in the south-western parliamentary division of Kent, England, at the confluence of the Eden and Medway, 41 m. S.W. of Tonbridge. Pop. (1901), 1678. The village is remarkable for some old houses, including a timbered house of the 15th century, and for a noted factory of cricket implements. The church, chiefly late Perpendicular, contains a large number of monuments of the Sidney family and an effigy of Sir Stephen de Penchester, Warden of the Cinque Ports in the time of Edward I. Penshurst Place is celebrated as the home of the Sidney family. Anciently the residence of Sir Stephen de Penchester, Penshurst was granted to Henry. VIII.'s chamberlain, Sir William Sidney, whose grandson, Sir Philip Sidney, was born here in 1554. It passed to Sir Philip's younger brother Robert, who in 1618 was created earl of Leicester. On the death of the seventh earl in 1743 the estates devolved upon his niece Elizabeth, whose only child married Sir Bysshe Shelley of Castle Goring. Their son was created a baronet in 1818 as Sir John Shelley-Sidney, and his son was created Baron de L'Isle and Dudley in 1835. The mansion is quadrangular, and has a fine court, chapel and hall (c. 1341) with open timber roof and a minstrels' gallery. The various rooms contain an interesting collection of portraits, armour and other family relics. The praises of the park and the house have been sung in Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, and by Ben Jonson, Edmund Waller and Robert Southey.
End of Article: PENSHURST
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