Penwortham is a small hamlet in the beautiful Clare Valley, just 10 kms south of Clare. It is in the middle of the wine growing area, with several wineries close by. Penwortham shares its name with the town of Penwortham in Lancashire, England. A scenic drive to the Skillogalee Valley, west of Main North Road (Horrock's Highway), will take you to several well-known cellar doors.
Penwortham is a quiet little village with several stone buildings reflecting its historical past. St. Marks Church is a treasure, with explorer John Horrocks buried in the adjacent cemetery. Greens Cottage, built in 1839 and owned and operated by the local historical society, opens to visitors on the first Sunday of each month.
The Riesling Trail, on the eastern side links the village to Auburn and Clare for walkers and cyclists enjoying the local countryside.
Spring Gully Conservation Park is nearby.
Penwortham was founded by settler, pioneer and explorer John Horrocks. He was born at his family home of Penwortham Hall, near Preston, Lancashire. Horrocks settled here and named his property Hope Farm. The first stone cottage was commenced in 1839, just 3 years after the Colony was established. Stone stables for the horses were built later. Horses were rare and valuable in the new colony. For a short time, Penwortham was the only inland European settlement north of Gawler.
In 1846 Horrocks mounted an exploratory expedition to the far north of South Australia, into distant hills near Lake Torrens, hoping to find good agricultural land. Among his party was artist Samuel Thomas Gil (ST Gill famous for Australian life record). Near Lake Dutton, still short of his objective, Horrocks was accidentally shot in a hunting accident. His gun fired after the camel he was using lurched, knocking him and causing the weapon to discharge injuring him. The party returned to Horrocks' home at Penwortham, where he died a month later. He is buried at St. Mark's Anglican Church, Penwortham.