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.