Sunday, 18 May 2014

Built on wool

We had a little wander round beautiful Painswick, so-called Queen of the Cotswolds today.


First stop was the church with its many yew trees.  Legend has it that there are 99 of them, and that if a hundredth tree is planted it will be withered by the devil.


Some of them have the most fantastic shapes, and they're beautifully maintained, really closely clipped and thickly growing.



Inside is cool and serene as you'd expect.  The church was mainly built in the 14-1500s, with the spire added in 1632.


All of the pews have lovely hand stitched kneelers, made by parishioners in the 1980s.  The littlest boy insisted on being in this picture.



Painswick was built on the wealth of the wool trade in the middle ages.  I like to try and imagine what things were like back then.  The houses would have been grand, and many of the rich wool merchants and their families are buried in the churchyard.  No doubt it was largely their money that paid for the construction of the church.




All around are the beautiful Cotswold hills that were once home to the Cotswold sheep, considered at the time to provide the very best wool in the world.



Yew trees are dotted throughout the village.  I was fascinated by the ones growing out of the pavement, in tiny spaces.  They grow so closely, pressed to the buildings, and tightly clipped.




Yew re-grows from old wood, so it's possible to cut it back hard if need be, and in time it will be all green again.

Some of the houses had other things, still very attractive, growing by their doors.







All in all Painswick is a really lovely place for a visit.  And it's another excellent reason to love sheep and all things woolly.

39 comments:

  1. It looks like a beautiful place. I'm fascinated by the Yew trees and I'm wondering if they're the same thing I would call a yew bush, which doesn't grow where I live now, but it does where I'm from in the east. It had little red berries in the fall, with gooey, slimy juice inside them. But I don't think they ever grew tall like trees. The trees at this church here are so interesting. I'm surprised nobody has ever planted that extra tree just to see what happened. But that would be very irreverent, I think.

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  2. What a fantastic look at a beautiful village! I love the pictures of different doors and what is growing beside them--lovely! I watched Tudor Monastery Farm on PBS. Amazing how wool really built the economy. Thanks for this post!

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  3. Thank you so much for taking us along on your lovely visit.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  4. I love "travelling" through the pictures you post. What a lovely area. I am a big fan of old architecture and of all the blogs I read ....you might have the oldest.

    Thanks for the "tour". :-)

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  5. I would say! CJ this post is stunning!!!!!! First off I can not get over those yews! They are straight out of a storybook! So beautiful and intriguing all at once as is Painswick! I wish I could travel back in time to see how people lived in that gorgeous town! And look at those handmade kneelers at the church! Outstanding! You had me at those doors though...that is so my thing! Just an amazing place and gorgeous pictures friend! Nicole xoxo

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  6. Oh my.. I loved seeing all those historic homes and the church and the yews! We have several yews on our property and we've hacked at them for years and they still grow out of the trunks.. they got so huge here that I had them cut down.. but no.. they don't go away. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  7. Fabulous photos - it really looks a lovely place to visit.

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  8. A beautiful location. Here in Yorkshire they relied heavily on the wool trade. It was named the heavy woollen district as it produced heavyweight woollen fabric. Horbury where our plot is nd Ossett where we live was at the centre of it all

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  9. The yews are beautiful aren't they, so grand & stately. I love going out for days like this.

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  10. What a stunning place, I love looking at old buildings, and wondering how difficult they were to build without modern technology and equipment. Looks like you picked perfect weather for a stroll around too.

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  11. What a beautiful place to spend the day, thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures :)

    There's a lovely children's storybook about the wool trade in the Cotswolds, The Wool Pack by Cynthia Harnett I read it as a child and loved it, probably out of print now.....

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  12. What a beautiful place, so pretty with all the different planting around the doorways, but I love the yew, especially all the trees in the churchyard.

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  13. Hey CJ,
    I adore all those villages in the Cotswolds. It's the colour of the stone, I think. Unfortunately my family doesn't share the same enthusiasm as me for 'old stuff' so I have very much enjoyed taking a walk with you this morning!
    Leanne xx

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  14. Wonderful photos of such an interesting place, that I have visited a couple of times. Flighty xx

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  15. Beautiful photographs CJ. I love that you managed to keep away the more modern parts of life (the cars and people) and let the place talk for itself.

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  16. My cousin and I stayed at a lovely B&B in Painswick when we were in the UK last fall. Your pictures bring back so many good memories. Aren't the kneelers in that church amazing? I hope to get back to the Cotswolds again some day. There was so much more to see and do than we had time for.

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  17. Those yew tress are beautiful! Lovely photographs, CJ. I love being able to experience a part of the world I might not otherwise get to see through your eyes. Such wonderful history!

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  18. So lovely to see this beautiful town. It seems as though it should be called Yew Tree Town rather than its actual name. The trees by the houses are amazing and really make it so distinctive and pretty. Thanks CJ. xx

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  19. Just home from a lovely visit to the Cotswolds but didn't visit this beautful village, but beautifully displayed by you. Thanks for sharing, Anita xo

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  20. Such a beautiful town and your photos are stunning. Thank you for sharing. I love the photo with the little boy (your son?) sat under the yew tree.
    Caz xx

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  21. Painswick looks such a beautiful place to visit, so many attractive stone buildings and houses, and the church is stunning. So much history all in one place, and if werent for the double yellow lines you could almost feel yourself a century or two back! Those ancient yew trees in the churchyard are amazing - so beautifully kept and neatly clipped.
    Thanks for sharing all the photos CJ.
    Gill xx

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  22. There seems to be so many lovely Cotswold villages to visit. I always thought West Yorkshire was the centre of the woollen industry so I've learn't something new as well. I assume the money was made selling the wool rather than making anything with it.

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  23. Painswick looks like a beautiful village to visit. I particularly love the kneelers in the church, I have never seen anything like this before. I am amazing nobody has stolen them yet. We don't visit nice places often enough and I look forward to revisiting some beautiful villages when we are on holiday in Cornwall this summer. Somehow visiting only happens during to holidays. x

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  24. Very, very beautiful indeed. I do love the Cotswolds, ti's the local stone which makes it so lovely I think. Church embroideries and tapestries fascinate me, all those hours of work so lovingly done.

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  25. Wow Painswick is so adorable. Looks like a little town in the BCC shows my mom watches set decades ago! It would be so wonderful to visit there. How luck you are to live near these adorable places.

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  26. Thanks for the tour. Makes me really want to visit England - there is just so much cool history and really old things! :) I spotted a wisteria in the one picture!

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  27. Beautiful CJ, your photo's capture it so well.
    I think a trip to the Cotswolds needs to go on our list.
    Have a good day,
    Kate x

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  28. What gorgeous pictures! You have brought to my corner of France the beauty of England and I thank you for that. One of y sisters lives in Cheltenham. It is a glorious part of the world, isn't it? It looks as though you have good weather too!

    Stephanie

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  29. We stopped here when we went on holiday to the Cotswolds many years ago. Thank you for reminding me of what a beautiful place it is. Sarah x

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  30. The photos are fantastic. I enjoyed seeing all the shaped greenery against the gray stone and roads. Thanks for letting us visit with you!

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  31. "An excellent reason to love sheep and all things woolly" :) I think I need to make a trip over to your part of the world. You always take such wonderful little adventures with the kids to see such beautiful and unique things. I imagine you all having many laughs and making lots of memories.

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  32. What, no yarn store? :)

    It does look a lovely place - I like the colour of the stone. Some interesting doors there too, as well as the things growing next to them. That lovely spreading tree was my favourite, I think. But the clipped yew trees look very appropriate next the doors - restrained and elegantly simple, like the stone walls they press against.

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  33. Lovely photos of gorgeous stone buildings. I have never been to Painswick but I think I must go now; it looks beautiful. I live in Suffolk which depended on the wool trade, too but it declined in the sixteenth century. There are sheep in the field across the road from me but I think they are for eating rather than for the wool.
    Nice to find your quirky blog, it' s full of interest and fun.

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  34. Those kneelers are wonderful, lucky parishioners. In my church we have plastic kneelers that are so uncomfortable and they stick to your knees, wish we had those beauties.
    Seems like a perfect day out

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  35. Great photos! It looks like a really picturesque place.

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  36. What a beautiful place! Thanks for the lovely tour. Those kneelers are wonderful.

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  37. What a wonderful tour of a gorgeous picture postcard village. Those trees are stunning and what a feature. I also love the hand stitched kneelers - what a beautiful item for the glorification of God and the blessing of the kneelers. Just leaves me thinking how many dreams and hopes and thoughts went into the long stitch by stitch crafting of each-just beautiful.

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  38. What a fantastic place CJ. Thanks for letting us tag along. It reminds me a little bit of my city in Brazil where I grew up. S very pretty.

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