The roots of The Painswick Centre were in the Painswick Mechanics Institute, founded in 1856. In 1870 it dropped “Mechanics” from its title.
The current building was the result of the generosity of Sarah Frances Williams. Mrs Williams had inherited family wealth created from the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce business, in which first her father-in-law then her first husband had been partners. In the early years of the 20th century she bought Turners Farm, whose lands covered the area between Cheltenham Road, Lower Washwell and Vicarage Street. In 1906 she gave part of the land and the necessary funds to build what was then the Painswick Working Men’s Club and Institute, and is now The Painswick Centre. Mrs Williams laid the foundation stone on 8th December 1906 and the building was officially opened on 21st September 1907.
Back then it comprised a hall, various rooms, and a rifle range (which is now the Skittle Alley!).