The area around Painswick is rich in History and it may be that the intrepid golfers of those early years with their hickory shafts
and "gutties" were not the first "athletes" to use the Beacon. It is certain that various forms of hunting would have taken place
in medieval times and, no doubt, the local fauna kept a careful eye open for the falcons flown by the ladies of the nobility. Perhaps
the occasional archery contest was also held. Who can tell what other kinds of diversion may have excited the fancy of our ancestors
from the Bronze and Iron Ages over 3000 years ago?
The course itself is built on Painswick Beacon which is one of a string of pre-Roman
Hill Forts constructed on the Cotswolds. These date from the Bronze Age and are approximately 3000 year old. The great ramparts of
earth and stone which enclose all or part of the present 5th, 6th, 7th, 1 0th and 11th holes must have presented a forbidding prospect
to approaching attackers, while the defending tribesmen would have adequately provided for food from the cattle and grain stored within,
and for water by the large well that is now doing service as a hazard to trap the mishit drive from the 11th tee (and sometimes from
the 6th tee!)
Modern golfers may not believe it but the great ramparts are no longer quite so forbidding as once they were. Over the
centuries they have suffered much destruction. This is not due to any missiles hurled by besieging enemies, but from the activities
of the quarrymen of the Middle Ages who used the stones to build the magnificent Cathedral in Gloucester and many of the other City
churches. Before them the Romans had come to Painswick when they were building their fort on the banks of the Severn.
From Bronze Age Hill Fort to Greens and Fairways