Saturday, 26 July 2008


Yesterday, after some of the heat of the day had abated, we drove the nine miles South to Painswick. The annual exhibition of the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen - well worth a visit between now and 25th August - was opening that evening.

Having set off in time to meet our friends John and Sue Colquhoun for a walk beforehand, we aimed Westwards from Painswick into unfamiliar territory. Our path followed the Cotswold Way for a mile or so, then branched right down into a likely-looking, wooded valley, leading to what turned out to be the Washbrook. Soon we came across an unexceptional mill building, just like so many one comes across beside a stream - but look at this William and Mary doorway!

Walter Hawkins, a Bristol brewer, built Washbrook as a grist-mill, it seems. Successive owners milled cloth and then corn here for more than two hundred years. Hawkins' coat of arms, flanked by more swags, surmount another doorway on the same frontage, with an oval window above.

What extraordinarily rich carving to find in the middle of nowhere! (What an encouragement to go places on foot!)

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