Painswick ... a potted guide
Places worth visiting...
Chedworth Roman Villa
One of the finest and best preserved places in the Cotswolds, Painswick is known as "The Queen of the Cotswolds" and is surrounded by some of Gloucestershire’s most delightful countryside.
Built of mellow Cotswold stone from the local quarry on Painswick Beacon, many of the houses in the village date from the 17th and 18th centuries and once belonged to wealthy wool merchants. New Street, constructed around 1428, contains the oldest building in
England to house a post office, the country’s oldest bowling green and houses with magnificent Georgian frontages.
The fast-flowing streams that tumble down the steep slopes surrounding Painswick were ideal for powering the fulling mills central to the production of cloth. At the heart of the village is the lovely St Mary's Church which has been surrounded by colonnades of well-tended yew trees since they were put there in 1792. Legend has it that there are only ever 99 yew trees as the Devil always kills the hundredth.
Each September, the Painswick "clypping" ceremony takes place in the churchyard. Taken from the Old English word "clyppan", meaning to embrace, groups of children form a circle round the church and then approach and retreat three times while singing a hymn.
In recent years, Painswick's churchyard has become the venue for Art Couture Painswick (ACP), an artistic venture that encourages creative people of all ages and from all walks of life to participate in making works of art using the body as a canvas for creativity.
Painswick is situated at the mid-point of the Cotswold Way and is surrounded by wonderful walking country. The picturesque villages of Sheepscombe, Edge and Slad are all close by. Popular attractions nearby are the world famous Rococo Garden and Painswick Beacon which has extensive views across the Severn Vale.
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