Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cotswolds Visit Part 2

St Mary's Church, Painswick Church

The oldest part of the church was built in 1377, with the tower added in 1490 and the spire in 1632. The view of the yews hits you on entering Painswick and the spire can be seen for miles around.

Marks of the cannon shot by the Royalists in 1644 during the Civil War are clearly visible.

There are reputedly 99 yew trees in the graveyard, planted in 1792. Legend has it that the Devil killed off the hundreth tree. Yew trees were planted in churchyards as a reminder of everlasting life, because they are evergreens. We didn't try to count them. It would be impossible. As you can see they are planted between avenues through the churchyard and some have grown together with their branches intertwined forming arches.

The church has some beautiful stained glass windows, as well as 17th century graffiti carved by a Puritan soldier during the 1643 seige of the village. It reads 'Be bolde, be bolde, be not too bolde', from Edmund Spenser's The Fairye Queene.

The Stocks

These are just outside the churchyard. They were in use until 1840, date from the early 1600s and are made of iron - called spectacle stocks, because of their shape. When we were there the effect was rather spoilt by the cars parked to the sides and in front.

Painswick Beacon
If you visit Painswick and like walking you must climb the Beacon. The view at the top at simply wonderful - some of the best panoramic views we've seen. When I went up Snowdon it was raining, so no view and it usually rains when I go to Wales or the Lake District, so it was really surprising it didn't rain when we walked up the Beacon. The highest point is 283 metres or 923 feet above sea level and from there you can see five counties, the River Severn, the Welsh Mountains and the Malvern Hills - stunning on a such a clear day, even though it did cloud over and threaten rain, none fell.

This photo shows the worn path up to the trig point, inside the ancient hill fort. It was very windy up there and I felt as though at any moment I was going to be blown off. This is where a beacon is lit for national celebrations.

They play golf up here. The hill fort is a scheduled Ancient Monument and has existed for over 2000 years. It is open common land, with registered commoners rights. As well as the many wildflowers which have meant its inclusion as a Site of Special Scientific Interest it is also the home of a golf course founded on the hill over 100 years ago.


danielle said...

Those are gorgeous photos! I am familiar with place names when someone mentions them in Britain or other places, but I have no idea geographically really where they are. I need to pull out my atlas and orient myself more. Thanks for sharing--I love seeing photos of other places.

Nan - said...

Oh, how I'd love to be there walking. Beautiful, beautiful country. And a lovely church. Are there still services held there?

BooksPlease said...

Danielle, the Cotswolds cross several English counties - roughly stretching north-east to south-west from Yorkshire to Dorset. Some say it is quintessentially "English". I love this area. Painswick is at the western side, about 6 miles south of Gloucester (near to Wales).

Nan, yes this holds regular services and looks a very active church.

Tara said...

I just love looking at these photographs. I especially love the one of the trees having grown together. I would love to visit the Cotswolds someday, it has already been on my 'list' of places to go.

Roberta said...

These posts and photos of the Cotswolds are so wonderful; they have a deep meaning for me. I'm an avid reader also & we like many of the same books. I am an about-to-reire librarian in Maryland US. I'm a blogger, too & I've just placed Booksplease on my blogroll. Your site is wonderful!

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