Painswick Lodge c1924

A brief history of Painswick Lodge

The history of Painswick Lodge is like the house veiled in the mystery of time. There has been much written and is available to on the internet but it only tells half the story. British History Online

A Cotteswold Manor by Welbore St Clair Baddeley published 1907 describes how “Firstly a Lodge was the necessary adjunct to every deer-park, where the owner could enjoy the pleasures of the chase and the Ranger could attend to his many responsibilities. The enlargement of this Lodge sometimes converted it into a Manor House, though it retained its old name. In many cases such a Lodge became the substitute for the Hall, Castle, or Court House. It was usually placed to command a good view of the Park.

The younger brothers, or sons of knightly or noble families, often held the office of Ranger or Parker. Sir Maurice Berkeley and William Bassett kept the park of Painswick in 1512, and doubtless resided at the Lodge. Later a little, probably from motives of economy, Arthur, Lord Lisle, retained it alone as a residence for his hunting, being mostly employed elsewhere. But the oldest parts of it antedate his time by quite a century, as of course does the inscribed alter-stone. It was therefore (it is presumable) of sufficient importance in 1403to have a chapel of its own and for Nicholas, Suffragan of Worcester, to dedicate it’s alter. It was a capital message, probably resided in at first by the younger scions of the Talbot family, and later by the Grays, their descendants, and the Kingstons after them as the Lords of the Manor”.

The history of the Lodge probably should date back to the twelve or thirteenth century when first the Manor was emparked, i.e., at a period at least earlier than 1260, but we do not know how far anterior to this date. Seeing as has been shown that the Park was plundered by marauders who drove off deer, in the reign of Edward I and Edward II it is clear that a Lodge and a substantial one, was necessary and perhaps not yet in existence. This the Talbots certainly made or remade in 1400. In this, again enlarged and mostly rebuilt in Henry VIII reign (1534/5) when the Manor was in the dower to Ancaretta, Lady Talbot, mother of the first Earl of Shrewsbury, when Sir Gilbert Talbot II was the young Lord and John the future hero and Earl, his younger brother.

But only a small wing of this rebuilding remains, being the Northern side of the house. It is not known if King Edward stayed at the Lodge on his way to the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4th May 1471, but if he stayed in the area it seems unlikely that he would have stayed elsewhere. Certainly he must have passed well in sight of Painswick which prospered in the time of the Wars of the Roses.

Painswick Lodge then slowly grew and then was extended and modified again in  1534/5, as afore mentioned, to accommodate the use of it as a Hunting Lodge by King Henry the VIIIth and his then wife Anne Boleyn on their long honeymoon in 1534.  Needless to say there are some conflicting documents, however we know that Thomas Cromwell Earl of Essex coerced the Lyles’ into selling Painswick Lodge to him in 1540 and that he sold it to Sir William Kingston in 1548. The Painswick valley at that time was a hunting ground for the King and his followers and was sparsely populated. The Painswick Valley which was so beautiful was kept for Royal hunting parties. Henry is reputed to even have prevented the felling of oak trees in the valley at a time when he required oak for his Navy in large quantities. At a time before the beginning of the wool trade which subsequently based its self in the surrounding valleys and centring on Stroud the house would have been surrounded by woodland and the nearby villages of Sheepscombe and Cranham were but odd weaver's cottages and nothing more. Painswick Lodge was where the Lord of the Manor sat overseeing the Kings business. At this time Painswick Lodge was owned by Sir William Kingston . We know that Thomas Cromwell Earl of Essex coerced the Lyles’ into selling Painswick Lodge to him in 1540 and that he sold it to Sir William Kingston in 1548, who gained his Knighthood after fighting at Flodden. Kingston started life as a modest Painswick Yeoman of the Guard who rose to be in the Privy Council. It was Kingston who in 1533 played a part in Anne’s coronation, and who in May 1536 in less happy times escorted her to the scaffold as Constable of the Tower of London. An account can be read at here According to Peter Bramley (and others) in his book: Henry VIII and his six wives: A Guide To Historic Tudor Sites, not only was Painswick Lodge where Henry and his wife Anne visited but where young Princess Elizabeth, The future Queen Elizabeth 1st would have played in the garden while The king lunched. The house has a number of features that remain from these early times.  A two-light window from circa 1420 a larger hall where the rib moulding tells us clearly they are Tudor. There is an oak panelled room moulded in the characteristic Stuart manner, probably the work of Sir Henry Jerningham Bt (1625) or of Sir Ralph Dutton (1636-1646). In such a room his friend and master King Charles may have slept when here in 1643. The large Tudor fireplaces, were a common feature of the time and remain today. Originally at first floor level there would have been one large room with a separate room for the King, this space is now sub dived though the panelled bedroom remains. This layout prevailed until sub divided into separate bedrooms with a corridor connecting. The kings room still has its Iron bars in the windows which guarded occupants from unexpected attack. Painswick Lodge remained the manor house for Painswick until 1804 when the manorial rights were sold.

As well as the Tudor King Henry VIII staying at Painswick Lodge, according to The New History of Gloucestershire, by S Rudder, published 1779: “Painswick was the centre of great military activity during the Carolean Wars. Charles 1st slept here on August 9th 1643, on his way to the siege of Gloucester, and a court was held the next day. On the raising of the siege he again slept here on September 5th 1643. It is commonly stated that he slept at the Court House but Mr St Clair Baddeley, the eminent archaeologist of Painswick, says it is pretty certain he would have stayed at the (Painswick) Lodge for many reasons. The (Painswick) Lodge is now only a shadow of its former size.”

Painswick Lodge has been a Manor that has obviously been much desired over the years. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Cromwell, owned it for a time before it was forfeited when he was executed, The Lisles before him and even Henry VIIIth had his eye on it preventing the Park being felled.  Painswick Lodge stayed in the ownership of the Kingston family after Sir William died only for a short time until passing initially to Sir Williams son Anthony and then on to Sir Anthony’s niece Frances who was the wife of Sir Henry Jerningham. The Jerningham family retained Painswick Lodge until 1831 when it was sold and subsequently reduced in size.

In more recent times with the establishment of The Painswick Stud, The Foxbury Stud and The New Painswick Stud, three generations, breeding Arab horses other notable dignitaries have both visited and stayed. In particular the last King of the The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, King Hussein with his family was a regular visitor.

The Lodge is beautifully situated, backed by the Saltridge and Salcombe, so as to survey the spacious timbered hollow, once comprising the Park, towards Longridge on the left; Painswick with its vale directly in front of it, while on the right or North, it looked across to Paradise with the over-peering ridge of the enthroned British Camp

In late 1925 the current occupiers Grandparents bought the house and set about restoration through the now revered architect Edward Barnsley, who with his team were at the forefront of the Cotswold Arts and Crafts movement.

Barnsley’s work included taking down an internal wall from ground to attic level and removing the fireplaces and chimneys. An extension was added to allow a staircase to first floor to bypass the original stone spiral one. Barnsley’s re design of the gardens and approach were all encompassing and even included the rain water gutters and down pipes. Other artisans work from the Arts and Crafts movement that had input into the house included Earnest Gimson and Alfred and his wife Alice Powell.


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