Thursday, June 19, 2014

Village of Painswick

Oops, sorry about this; I'm not going to write about Stourshead today.  The little town of Painswick will have to come first because it's the end of my week of entries, and I don't want to start but not finish Stourshead Gardens.

While we walked around this old village, several things caught my eye.  First the limestone which here would be golden in the sunlight (not that there was any), second the doors/gates/doorways, and third the flowers, the Lychgate and assorted and sundries which you will see.

As you look at the photos of the doorways and gates, check out the names given the buildings.

Just loved this old door, broken windows above, and that wonderful limestone!

All this limestone and there's one half-timbered building (technically anyway, as you'll see later) in the town.

Dr. Who anyone?

This is the outside of the Lychgate  (which is also half-timbered, I know, but technically it's a gate attached to a building so I'm not going to count it as a building).  On the right is the street, and on the left is the churchyard.  There is a passage from the street through to the churchyard (can you see it is open on both sides?).  Behind the half-timbered part is an attached limestone cottage.

 Another word that I thought I understood but was totally wrong about is "lych".  Since in my experience it was always a compound noun (lych + gate), I thought "lych" possibly a corruption of "latch", I reasoned, referred to a metal mechanism that one would push down and in so doing release a latch that held the gate shut.  Sounds good, right?  Well, here's the real meaning (once again found at   


a roofed gate to a churchyard, formerly used as a temporary shelter for the bier during funerals 

and from Wikipedia:

The word lych survived into modern English from the Old English or Saxon word for corpse . . . In the Middle Ages when most people were buried in just shrouds rather than coffins, the dead were carried to the lych gate and placed on a bier, where the priest conducted the first part of the funeral service under its temporary shelter.

Fascinating, isn't it?

Portrait of a rose.

View through some trees.

And that's the tour for this week.  Next week I will take you on a whirlwind picture tour of Stourhead Garden.


  1. I so admire your photographs and research. I had a rather narrow view, focusing on gardens to the exclusion of other things. You have enriched my trip experience and made me regret my foolish tunnel vision.

  2. These photos have convinced me that I need to leave the USA and go to visit England some time in my life. It's stunning!