I live in Pensby on the Wirral peninsula in Cheshire in the UK. So what exactly is Pensby? It’s certainly not big enough to be called a town. Even the much larger Heswall which it adjoins usually only gets called a village (though it is too big to be called a village in my view – there being an upper and a lower village which are now joined together. I reckon Heswall is a town.)
So is Pensby a village? Well, if it is, it’s not my idea of a village. A village should have an old church, a proper centre of old cottages, a Hall, and a pub. Pensby has no old church and only three buildings that go back beyond 1900. It does have a Hall but that is situated outside Pensby itself! It also has a modern pub – but that is now closed down.
The Pensby public house before it closed down.
At last I have found a description of Pensby that accords with how I think of it. The description is in the book ‘Wirral’ by Peter Brack, written in 1980. He calls it an ‘urbanised village’ and comments “In the last 25 years the Heswall area has probably grown at a faster rate than anywhere else in Wirral: a look at the map shows how the once separate villages of Gayton, Heswall, Pensby and Thingwall are now joined by continuous housing.” But for two fields, one could add the villages of Irby and Barnston to that contiguous urban area.
Peter Brack then went on to say “If ever there was nothing to say about a place then that place is Pensby. For centuries it was no more than just a small farming community. No village, no church, no pub. Nothing. At the 1801 census the population was just 27. Like Greasby, the soil was described as poor and thin but over the last 50 years it has produced an abundant crop of bungaloid and semi-detached houses.”
That says it all really, and don’t you just love the word bungaloid? Notwithstanding this post I shall be telling you more about Pensby in the near future as I explore every nook and cranny in a bid to reach my walking target of 10,000 steps a day.