The name derives from Peters Hill (allegedly) based on the Hill by St Peters Church The parish of Pertenhall & Swineshead is part of the Stodden Hundred (which comprises Bolnhurst, Clapham, Dean, Keysoe, Knotting, Little Staughton, Melchbourne, Milton Ernest, Oakley, Pertenhall, Riseley, Shelton, Tilbrook and Yelden) .
The village is drawn out along the B660 beginning with Chapel Yard, derived from the Moravian Chapel located there and is characterised by a series of 'Ends', namely Wood End (a cul-de-sac, terminating at a footpath known locally as 'the Track', Chadwell End (a thoroughfare), derived from the Chad Well that exists nearby and leading to Green End at the south.
The village's oldest building is the church, which dates from Norman times. There are also a number of interesting buildings such as the Manor House, Hoo Farm and Green End Farm House, all of which date back several hundred years.
The lower school and middle school within catchment of Pertenhall are both in the village of Riseley, four miles away from Pertenhall, and are called Riseley Lower School, and Margaret Beaufort Middle School. The upper school within catchment of Pertenhall is in the village of Sharnbrook, eight miles away from Pertenhall, and is called Sharnbrook Upper School and Community College.