Stratford Upon Avon

Stratford Upon Avon, which is a gateway to the Cotswolds, is considered one of the most historic and significant towns in all of England. This little town, which has a population of 25,000, is located on the banks of the River Avon and is known to attract millions of tourists each year. In its glory days, the town was well known for its part in the wool trade of the area. Since it was so close to the Cotswolds it was an ideal location for people to meet regarding the slaughter of sheep and dealing of fleeces.

The most well known person to ever live in Stratford Upon Avon is William Shakespeare. The different houses where William Shakespeare was born, grew up in and died are all well preserved and able to be toured by visitors. The tours will give you a glimpse into exactly how Shakespeare lived and what he saw each and every day to inspire his writings. In addition, the tours have been made very affordable to the casual tourist as the houses are all owned by the William Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Another piece of unique history that is present at Stratford Upon Avon is the American Fountain Clock. This gothic looking clock tower was donated to the area by a man named George Childs. Childs was from Philadelphia in the United States and was known for being a good natured philanthropist as well as a publisher. The eagles and lions that are carved into the tower are clear examples of the style of architecture that was popular during this period. In addition, above each clock is a sculpture of a fairy that was inspired by Shakespeare’s play title “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The Guild Chapel, which is highly historical and significant, is present at modern day Stratford Upon Avon. The chapel was first built in 1269 by a group of wealthy citizens who thought there was a need for a chapel. It is one of the oldest buildings in town and contains remains of one of the oldest paintings in all of England. There is a picture that depicts “Judgment Day” located right inside the chapel. The picture shows the souls of some people going to heaven and the souls of some people descending towards Hell.

Outside of the historical elements, there are some modern attractions that make this area even more unique. For starters, there is the Butterfly Farm that allows visitors to walk through a rainfall environment that is full of exotic butterflies as well as waterfalls and tropical plant life. The Butterfly Farm is also home to the world’s largest spider. This spider, along with other creatures, is behind protective glass for your ease of viewing.

Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire offers a unique blend of one of a kind history and modern day conveniences and attractions. The location of the community makes it an ideal place to stop and spend some while passing through on your way to other sites. However, the area also offers enough history and attractions to keep a tourist entertained for days on end.

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Stratford Upon Avon

William Shakespeare Wiki   Stratford Upon Avon Official Website

William Shakespeares Birthplace

William Shakespeare’s Birthplace is located in Stratford-upon-Avon, a medium-sized market town in Warwickshire in the Cotswolds.   The town is also home to the Royal Shakespeare Theater, one of the most important cultural sites in Britain, operated by the Royal Shakespeare Theater.  Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a delightfully preserved historic building with Tudor-style timber-framed construction.  This is where Shakespeare grew up, imagined, and began his life.  He also lived here for five years with his wife Anne Hathaway.  The house is practically a pilgrimage destination for writers and readers alike and has drawn numerous famous visitors over the years including John Keats, Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace isn’t just a house, either—it is a monument of living history and literature.  Throughout the year, actors who are part of the Shakespeare Aloud! troupe of professional actors pose as characters in his plays and recite passages and scenes from his plays in the beautiful gardens.  The Life, Love & Legacy multimedia exhibition draws you into the pages of Shakespeare’s life and explores his life in Stratford-upon-Avon and London.  You can also visit the glover’s workshop.  This was how John Shakespeare, William’s father, supported his family.  The workshop has been recreated to provide even more insight into the day to day lives of Shakespeare’s family.

Nearby you can also visit Anne Hathaway’s family home.  This was the romantic setting with a charming thatched roof and beautiful, blooming gardens where Shakespeare courted his future bride.  The house has been very well preserved and even includes much of the original furniture.  The willow sculpture trail allows you to partake of the beauty of the gardens, while the Say It With Flowers exhibition introduces you to the symbolic language of flowers which was popular for communication during the Elizabethan period.

Another site nearby is Nash’s House, a Tudor building that was named for Tomash Nash, the first husband of Shakespeare’s granddaughter.  Next door is the New Place, which was purchased by William Shakespeare in 1597.  This is the house he purchased when he became wealthy enough to buy a family home.  It’s also where he died in 1616.  These sites include exhibitions and a live archaeological dig, as well as activities for children to learn about history and archaeology.

Two more exciting destinations in town await you.  The first is Arden’s Farm, where Mary Arden, Shakespeare’s mother, grew up.  This is still a working farm where you can observe many activities which were similar to the day-to-day activities Mary Arden participated in when she was growing up.  You can also visit Hall’s croft, the beautiful Jacobean home where Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna lived with her husband, Dr. John Hall.  While you’re in town, you can also enjoy eating and drinking delicious local food at the lovely cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon, which offer views of the historic houses.  If you want to stay the night in town, you’ll also find plenty of options as far as bed and breakfasts and hotels.  Immerse yourself in the historical wonder of Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare’s Birthplace!