Painswick is a town and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England.
- Area:35.495 km2
- Elevation:223 m
- Local Government Area:Loddon Shire Council
Painswick is a town and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England. Originally the town grew from the wool trade, but it is now best known for its parish church's yew trees and the local Rococo Garden. The village is mainly constructed of locally quarried Cotswold stone. Many of the buildings feature south-facing attic rooms once used as weavers' workshops.
Painswick stands on a hill in the Stroud district, overlooking one of the Five Valleys, between Stroud and Gloucester. It has narrow streets and traditional architecture.
It has a cricket and rugby team and there is a golf course on the outskirts of the town. Painswick Beacon is in the nearby hills.
There is evidence of settlement in the area as long ago as the Iron Age. This can be seen in Kimsbury hill fort, a defensive earthwork on nearby Painswick Beacon, which has wide views across the Severn Vale. The local monastery, Prinknash Abbey, was established in the 11th century. Painswick itself first appears in historical records in the Domesday Book of 1086, as Wiche, 'dairy-farm'. It continues to appear by this name into the 13th century. The form Painswik first appears in 1237, but must originate in the name of an earlier lord of the manor, Pain Fitzjohn (d. 1137). Pain was a common Anglo-Norman name (itself originating in paiën, Latin paganus, 'heathen').During the first English Civil War (1642–45) Gloucester was a Parliamentarian stronghold of some strategic importance, but it was surrounded by forces loyal to King Charles I. After the siege of Gloucester was broken on 5 September 1643, the Royalist army, which had been surrounding the city, encamped overnight at Painswick, with the king staying at Court House. Some damage was caused by the troops and a scar from two small cannonballs can still be seen on the tower of St. Mary's parish church.
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