Painswick, 'Queen of the Cotswolds'
Beautiful Cotswold village in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Nestling quietly in the famous Cotswold hills, surrounded by
some of Gloucestershire's most delightful countryside is the
historic wool town of Painswick.
Recently featured on BBC television "A Casual Vacancy" by
J.K.Rowling. The opening scenes and the shop and other sites can be
found by walking around the town.
Built of mellow Cotswold stone from the local quarry on
Painswick Beacon the town's many beautiful buildings can be seen as
you wander around its quaint and narrow streets.
New Street, constructed around 1428 when the wool and cloth
trade was flourishing, contained the oldest building in England to
hold a Post Office, (recently closed) and Painswick's only example
of exposed timber framing.
Also Beacon House with its magnificent Georgian Frontage and the
Falcon Hotel with the oldest bowling green in England.
There are rare 17th century spectacle stocks near the court
house. 14th century houses in Bisley Street include two original
Donkey doors, Wide enough for panniered donkeys who carried the
wool from the numerous mills along the local valleys.
The church of St Mary (originally Norman) was extended around
1480 in the English perpendicular style. The churchyard with 99 yew
trees (legend has it that the 100th won't grow) and unusual
tabletop tombs is also famous for its 'Clypping ceremony' held in
September. This ancient religious ceremony has nothing to do
with the trees but is the embracing of the church by children of
the parish carrying nosegays and singing hymns. A closer look at
the church tower still reveals traces of Painswick's role in the
Today there is a variety of small shops and galleries to browse
around with pubs, restaurants and tea shops that serve good food.
Painswick is a Fair Trade town.
In early July Painswick puts on the Art couture
There are fantastic costumes paraded and stalls in the narrow
The Painswick centre always has art on show in it's artists
The Painswick Arts Festival runs for 6 weeks from middle of July
to August bank holiday.bringing arts events to the village.
Painswick is undoubtedly a village for all seasons what ever the
weather; Its tranquillity and peace make for a wonderful holiday or
weekend break, whether you are looking for a cosy log fire set in
an original hearth in the winter or a delicious cream tea in the
The countryside around Painswick with large areas of National
Trust Woodlands is ideal for bird watchers and wildlife
enthusiasts. Undulating areas of pasture land fall to the Wick
stream which supplied the power for the woollen mills which can
still been along its length.
The famous Cotswold Way footpath which runs from Bath to
Chipping Campden goes through the village. Painswick is about
halfway along its 100 mile length and therefore useful for a
stopover or longer rest. It is also an ideal starting point for
many other delightful walks. Maps and leaflets are available from
the Tourist Information Centre in the village.
Painswick Beacon has magnificent views across the Severn Valley
and on a clear day the Welsh Mountains can be seen. The outlines of
the Iron Age Fort can be seen around the summit. There is also an
18 hole golf course. Squash club, riding stables and tennis courts
are close by.
The Slad Valley, made famous by Laurie Lee in his book 'Cider
with Rosie' is also noted for its wild flowers as is Scotsquar
Common at Edge. Edge, Slad and Sheepscombe are all villages within
walking distance of Painswick and well worth a visit.
The celebrated Rococo Gardens at Painswick House are open to the
public throughout the year. In late Winter and early spring the
carpets of snowdrops are truly breathtaking.