Visit Painswick and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Painswick, Gloucestershire, high up on the Cotswolds, edged by a woodland valley sweeping down to Gloucester, is one of the most interesting of all the many wool towns. Painswick has many houses and inns dating from the 14th to the 18th centuries. Among these, the most important is Painswick House, built in 1737 with some later work by Basevi, who designed the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Castle Godwyn; the Court House, gabled with tall chimneys and a fine terraced garden; Tocknells Court; Lovedays: the Yew Tree House and the ancient Little Fleece, owned by the National Trust, are a few of the buildings worth seeing. The Beacon opposite the churchyard has splendid interior stucco decor and may well have been the work of the younger Wood who designed many of the Georgian streets and houses in Bath.
The churchyard of St Mary's is famed for its 99 clipped yews, planted in 1792. The church with its high spire built in 1632 on to the square early l5th century tower became a dangerous ranging mark during the Civil War when Charles I stayed in Painswick after a defeat inflicted on the Parliamentarians in 1643. The church has been much restored, though the nave dates from 1480. The l9th century work was in no little measure due to a terrible thunderstorm in 1883 when light-fling struck the spire, causing 40 ft of it to crash on to the nave roof and also to damage many of the tombstones. There are many good monuments within the church and an excellent example of modern glass, in a memorial window designed and executed by Payne, a local Minchinhampton artist.
The Painswick Feast Sunday with its Clipping Ceremony dates back to the early 14th century. It is held on or near 19 September, the Feast of the Blessed Virgin according to the old calendar. “Clipping” in this case comes from an early English word meaning to enclose and has nothing to do with the clipping of yews.
A little to the North of Painswick is delightful undulating country centred around the hamlet of Sheepscombe, rich in Cotswold stone cottages. Cranham Woods is a lovely beech forest. There is little of interest in the village itself. The 14th century church was much restored in the last century but the Tudor rood-screen was left intact. The nearby hamlet of Paradise has appropriately an inn called the Adam and Eve. On the other side of the main Cheltenham road is the principal entry to the Benedictine abbey of Prinknash (pronounced Prinnage). The drive curves down the hillside to the 250 acres of Prinknash Park in the valley. Here in 1520 on a terraced shelf William Parker, the last Abbot of Gloucester, rebuilt the ancient hunting lodge, derived from a privilege granted by Edward III in 1355. The lovely Cotswold manor house was to see many changes. Shortly after being entertained here by the abbot, Henry VIII dissolved all the monasteries. By 1540 Prinknash ceased to be Benedictine property and passed through the centuries into the possession of many distinguished families. It is believed on good authority that Prince Rupert directed the siege of Gloucester from here. In the late 19th century it was sold to Thomas Dyer-Edwards who desired that if possible the property should return to Benedictine use. By a curious sequence of events, a remarkable man of vision, Abbot Aelred Carlyle, had attempted to restore Benedictine life within the Anglican communion by establishing a community on Caldy Island in Pembrokeshire. Its eventual reception into the Roman obedience left the community homeless in the second decade of this century. An offer by Dyer-Edwards was accepted and after many difficulties the Benedictines returned to Prinknash, where by diligent application they have made the name of this monastery world-famous.
Nearby towns: Cheltenham, Cirencester, Gloucester, Minchinhampton, Stonehouse, Stroud
Nearby villages: Avening, Birdlip, Bisley, Brimpsfield, Brimscombe, Brockworth, Brookthorpe, Bulley, Cam, Chalford, Charlton Kings, Cherington, Churchdown, Claypits, Coaley, Coates, Coberley, Cowley, Dudbridge, Dursley, Edgeworth, Elkstone, Elmore, Frampton on Severn, Frocester, Great Witcombe, Hardwicke, Harescombe, Haresfield, Hempstead, Hucclecote, Innsworth, Lassington, Leckhampton, Little Witcombe, Longney, Lower Cam, Maisemore, Matson, Miserden, Nailsworth, Nymphsfield, Oakle Street, Quedgeley, Randwick, Rodmarton, Sapperton, Shurdington, Standish, Syde, Uley, Whaddon, Woodchester
Have you decided to visit Painswick or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Painswick bed and breakfast (a Painswick B&B or Painswick b and b)
- a Painswick guesthouse
- a Painswick hotel (or motel)
- a Painswick self-catering establishment, or
- other Painswick accommodation