Tom's Britain - Exploring places of interest and things to do in England, Wales & Scotland

11 October 2017

Attend the Painswick Feast and Church Clypping

Your author's favourite seasonal traditions are generally those with obscure purpose and confusing content, and as such a trip to the Cotswold town of Painswick on Sunday 24th September offered a perfect afternoon out.

Now combined with the annual Painswick Feast - which takes place among the 99 perfectly-trimmed churchyard yew trees - the clypping itself takes its name from the old English for embracing, and is quite literally an embracing of the church. The ancient open air service sees attendees surround the church, linking hands and doing an approximation of the hokey-cokey whilst singing a special clypping hymn.

Like all the best traditions, there is music, a procession and vernacular food. The food in question is Puppy Dog Pie, a pie now made with shin of beef and prunes which legend has it took its name from historically poor Painswick-ites who served up stray dog pies to unsuspecting visitors from nearby Stroud.

All in all, a pleasantly diverting day out. As summer turns to autumn it's nice to make the most of being outside, and your author supposes that this is what inspired the earliest clyppers.

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