The Info List - Stratford-upon-Avon

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(/ˌstrætfərd əˌpɒn ˈeɪvən/) is a market town and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon District, in the county of Warwickshire,[2] England, on the River Avon, 101 miles (163 km) north west of London, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham, and 8 miles (13 km) south west of Warwick.[3] The estimated population in 2007 was 25,505,[4] increasing to 27,445 at the 2011 Census. Stratford was originally inhabited by Anglo-Saxons
and remained a village before the lord of the manor, John of Coutances, set out plans to develop it into a town in 1196. In that same year, Stratford was granted a charter from King Richard I
King Richard I
to hold a weekly market in the town, giving it its status as a market town. As a result, Stratford experienced an increase in trade and commerce as well as urban expansion. The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, and receives approximately 2.5 million visitors a year.[5] The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre.


1 History

1.1 Origin of name 1.2 Early history 1.3 Modern history

2 Governance

2.1 Local government

3 Geography

3.1 Climate

4 Demography 5 Economy

5.1 Tourism 5.2 Shopping centres 5.3 Supermarkets

6 Culture

6.1 Theatre 6.2 Music 6.3 Museums and Shakespeare's houses 6.4 Literature 6.5 Shakespeare's celebrations 6.6 Pubs

7 Streets

7.1 Henley Street 7.2 Sheep Street 7.3 Waterside and Southern Lane

8 Other attractions 9 Transport 10 Education 11 Sport 12 Churches 13 Notable people 14 Notes 15 External links

History[edit] Origin of name[edit] The name is a combination of the Old English
Old English
strǣt (from Latin stratum), meaning 'street', ford, indicating a shallow part of a river or stream, allowing it to be crossed by walking or driving and avon which is the Celtic word for river.[6][7] The 'street' was a Roman road which connected Icknield Street
Icknield Street
in Alcester
to the Fosse Way. The ford, which has been used as a crossing since Roman times, later became the location of Clopton Bridge.[8][9][10] A survey of 1251-52 uses the name Stratford for the first time to identify Old Stratford and the newer manors.[9][11] The name was used after that time to describe the area specifically surrounding the Holy Trinity Church and the street of Old Town.[9] Early history[edit] The settlement which later became known as Stratford was first inhabited by Anglo-Saxons
following their 7th century invasion of what would become known as Warwickshire.[6][12] The land was owned by the church of Worcester
and it remained a village until the late 12th century when it was developed into a town by lord of the manor, John of Coutances.[9] John laid out a new town plan in 1196 based on a grid system to expand Stratford and allow people to rent property in order to trade within the town.[6][10][13] Additionally, a charter was granted to Stratford by King Richard I
King Richard I
in 1196 which allowed a weekly market to be held in the town, giving it its status as a market town. These two charters, which formed the foundations of Stratford's transformation from a village to a town, make the town of Stratford over 800 years old.[10][14] John's plans to develop Stratford into a town meant Stratford became a place of work for tradesmen and merchants.[10] By 1252 the town had approximately 240 burgages, as well as shops, stalls and other buildings.[9] Stratford's new workers established a guild known as the Guild
of the Holy Cross for their business and religious requirements.[10]

Clopton Bridge
Clopton Bridge
allowed trade to flourish in Stratford

Many of the town's earliest and most important buildings are located along what is known as Stratford's Historic Spine, which was once the main route from the town centre to the parish church. The route of the Historic Spine begins at Shakespeare's Birthplace
Shakespeare's Birthplace
in Henley Street. It continues through Henley Street to the top end of Bridge Street and into High Street where many Elizabethan
buildings are located, including Harvard House. The route carries on through Chapel Street where Nash's House
Nash's House
and New Place
New Place
are sited. The Historic Spine continues along Church Street where Guild
buildings are located dating back to the 15th century, as well as 18th and 19th century properties. The route then finishes in Old Town, which includes Hall's Croft
Hall's Croft
and the Holy Trinity Church.[13]

Historic map of Stratford in 1902

David Garrick
David Garrick
helped Stratford to become a tourist destination

During Stratford's early expansion into a town, the only access across the River Avon into and out of the town was over a wooden bridge, thought to have been constructed in 1318. However, the bridge could not be crossed at times due to the river rising and was described by antiquarian John Leland as "a poor bridge of timber and no causey [causeway] to it, whereby many poor folks and other refused to come to Stratford when Avon was up, or coming thither stood in jeopardy of life." In 1480, a new masonry arch bridge was built to replace it called Clopton Bridge, named after Hugh Clopton
Hugh Clopton
who paid for its construction. The new bridge made it easier for people to trade within Stratford and for passing travellers to stay in the town.[9][15][16] The Cotswolds, located close to Stratford, was a major sheep producing area up until the latter part of the 19th century, with Stratford one of its main centres for the processing, marketing, and distribution of sheep and wool. Consequently, Stratford also became a centre for tanning during the 15th–17th centuries.[12] Both the river and the Roman road
Roman road
served as trade routes for the town. Modern history[edit] Despite Stratford's increase in trade, it barely grew between the middle of the 13th century and the end of the 16th century, with a survey of the town showing 217 houses belonged to the lord of the manor in 1590. Growth continued to be slow throughout the 17th century, with hearth tax returns showing that at most there were approximately 429 houses in the town by 1670. However, more substantial expansion began following several enclosure acts in the late 18th century, with the first and largest new development by John Payton who developed land on the north side of the old town, creating several streets including John Street and Payton Street.[9][17] Before the dominance of road and rail, Stratford was the gateway to the network of British canals.[18] In 1769, the actor David Garrick
David Garrick
staged a major Shakespeare Jubilee over three days which saw the construction of a large rotunda and the influx of many visitors. This contributed to the growing phenomenon of Bardolatry
which made Stratford a tourist destination.[19][20] Governance[edit]

The Town Hall, home to Stratford-upon-Avon
Town Council

See also: Stratford-on-Avon (UK Parliament constituency) Stratford-upon-Avon
is within the Stratford-on-Avon parliament constituency which has been represented by Nadhim Zahawi
Nadhim Zahawi
since 2010.[21] Stratford is within the West Midlands Region constituency of the European Parliament
European Parliament
which is represented by seven MEP's.[22] Local government[edit] Stratford is governed by three tiers of local government:

County Council is a non-metropolitan county council, responsible for education, highways and other strategic matters. Stratford-on-Avon District
Stratford-on-Avon District
Council is responsible for housing, planning, rubbish collection and other local matters in Stratford and neighbouring towns and villages. The council is based at Elizabeth House, Church Street,[23] Stratford-upon-Avon
Town Council is a parish council, responsible for crime prevention, cemeteries, public conveniences, litter, river moorings, parks, grants via the Town Trust and the selection of the town's mayor.[24] The Town Council is based at the Town Hall in Sheep Street.[25] The Stratford-upon-Avon
Town Trust is based in the Civic Hall, Rother Street.[26] The council serves the civil parish which includes several villages near the town, including Tiddington, Alveston and Shottery. The parish is split into nine wards - Avenue, Bishopton, Bridgetown, Clopton, Guildhall, Hathaway, Shottery, Tiddington and Welcombe, with two councillors representing each ward.[27] The parish absorbed Old Stratford and Drayton on 31 March 2015.[28]

Party Seats Stratford-upon-Avon town councillors (as of 2016)[27]

Liberal Democrat 10                      

Independent 4          

Conservative 3        

Labour 1  


View of the River Avon from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

See also: Stratford-on-Avon District Stratford is 22 miles (35 km) south-east of Birmingham.[12] It is close to the Cotswolds, with Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden
10 miles (16 km) to the south. Suburbs and areas of the town include Shottery, Bishopton, Bridgetown, Tiddington, and Old Town.[27][9] Stratford's location next to the River Avon means it is susceptible to flooding, including flash floods.[29][30]

Destinations from Stratford-upon-Avon

Redditch, Birmingham Sutton Coldfield, Solihull Warwick, Coventry

Alcester, Worcester, Droitwich


Southam, Daventry

Evesham, Tewkesbury, Gloucester Chipping Norton, Witney, Cirencester, Swindon London, Oxford, Banbury, Reading


Inland summer cloud development, July 2010, Stratford is denoted by the yellow dot.

Stratford has a temperate maritime climate, as is usual for the British Isles, meaning extremes of heat and cold are rare.[31] Sunshine hours are low to moderate, with an average of 1512.3 hours of sunshine annually. Rainfall is spread evenly throughout the year, with an annual average of 614.8 mm (24 in), with over 1 millimetre (0.039 inches) of rain recorded on 114.1 days per year according to the 1981-2010 observation period.[32][33] Stratford's warmest month is July, with an average maximum temperature of 22.8 °C (73 °F) and January is the coldest month with an average high of 7.4 °C (45 °F). The average summer maximum temperature is 22.7 °C (73 °F), with a winter average high of 7.5 °C (45 °F).[33]

Climate data for Stratford-upon-Avon, elevation 49 metres (161 feet), 1971–2000

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 6.9 (44.4) 7.5 (45.5) 10.2 (50.4) 12.8 (55) 16.5 (61.7) 19.4 (66.9) 22.2 (72) 21.7 (71.1) 18.5 (65.3) 14.3 (57.7) 9.9 (49.8) 7.7 (45.9) 14.0 (57.2)

Average low °C (°F) 0.7 (33.3) 0.5 (32.9) 2.0 (35.6) 3.2 (37.8) 5.8 (42.4) 8.8 (47.8) 10.9 (51.6) 10.7 (51.3) 8.7 (47.7) 6.0 (42.8) 2.8 (37) 1.5 (34.7) 5.2 (41.4)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 55.6 (2.189) 40.6 (1.598) 45.6 (1.795) 46.5 (1.831) 48.8 (1.921) 55.3 (2.177) 44.0 (1.732) 61.1 (2.406) 55.0 (2.165) 56.2 (2.213) 52.0 (2.047) 61.4 (2.417) 622.3 (24.5)

Mean monthly sunshine hours 48.7 61.3 95.2 132.0 177.0 167.1 189.4 177.9 129.6 98.0 60.6 42.5 1,379.2

Source: Met Office[34]

Demography[edit] In 2011, Stratford-upon-Avon
had a population of 27,445[35] which was an increase from 25,505 in 2007.[36] The town's population is set to increase over the next few years following government approval to build 800 new homes in Shottery, which also includes plans for a new relief road,[37][38] up to 500 new homes planned in the Bishopton area of the town,[39] and 270 homes on the Loxley Road.[40] Economy[edit]

The Falcon Hotel, one of many employers in the hospitality industry within Stratford

Apart from tourism, which is a major employer, especially in the hotel, hospitality industry and catering sectors,[41] other industries in the town include boat building and maintenance, bicycles,[42] mechanical and electrical engineering, food manufacture, Information Technology, call centre and service sector activities, a large motor sales sector, industrial plant hire, building suppliers, market gardening, farming, storage and transport logistics, finance and insurance, and a large retail sector. Major employers in the town include the NFU Mutual Insurance Company (and Avon Insurance), AMEC, Sitel, Tesco, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, B & Q and Pashley Cycles.[42] There are, nominally, three theatres run by the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company, which attract large audiences and income for the town.

Historic Buildings, Downtown, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England

Tourism[edit] The regular large influx of tourists is the major source of the town's prosperity,[41] receiving between 2.5 million and 3 million visitors annually.[5][43] Stratford is a major English tourist town due to it being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, whom many consider the greatest playwright of all time.[41][44] In 2010 the District Council spent £298,000 on tourism promotion[45] and supports an official open-top tour bus service. In 2010 Stratford-on-Avon District
Stratford-on-Avon District
Council launched a re-branded official tourism website for the Stratford area called Discover Stratford[46] after opening a new tourist information centre on Henley Street in May 2010,[47] which has since moved back to the original location on Bridgefoot.[48] Shopping centres[edit] Apart from the town centre, Maybird Shopping Park, usually referred to locally as "The Maybird Centre"[49][50] or simply "The Maybird", is a large shopping centre[51] situated on Birmingham
Road, approximately a five-minute drive from the town centre, which features numerous shops and is a very well used part of the town. Shops featured at the Maybird[52] include Asda Living, B&Q, Argos, Pizza Hut, WHSmith, Subway, The Big Fish, Game, Jollyes Pet Shop, Boots, M&S Foodhall, Sports Direct, New Look, Outfit, Poundstretcher, Pets at Home, Halfords, Matalan, Next and Costa Coffee, the latter of which is the second Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee
shop in Stratford, with another located on Henley Street. A large Tesco
supermarket is located next to the Maybird,[53] behind B&Q. On the same road is a smaller Aldi
store. Directly opposite the Maybird, on the other side of Birmingham
Road, is Maybrook Industrial Estate, a smaller shopping centre which includes stores such as Staples, Carphone Warehouse, Maplin Electronics and Carpetright. The Rosebird Centre is a much smaller shopping centre located on Shipston Road and contains a large Waitrose
supermarket,[54] Pets Corner[55] pet shop and Rosebird Centre Pharmacy. The pharmacy also serves as a medical centre, acting as a branch of the main Rother House Medical Centre on Alcester
Road.[56] An Avonvale Veterinary Centre is soon to open in Rosebird Centre.[57] In the town centre, Town Square, which is to revert to its old name, Bell Court, is undergoing extensive work and will fully reopen in 2017. Plans reveal there will be a new Everyman cinema in the Square,[58] as well as a Byron Hamburgers
Byron Hamburgers
restaurant.[59] There are also plans for a full redevelopment of Bards Walk shopping arcade on Henley Street.[60] Supermarkets[edit] The town has a number of supermarkets, including Tesco[53] on Birmingham
Road, Aldi
on Canners Way[61] (just off Birmingham
Road), Morrisons
on Alcester
Road,[62] Marks & Spencer on Bridge Street[63] (plus M&S Simply Food in Maybird Shopping Park, Birmingham
Road[64]) and Waitrose
at The Rosebird Centre on Shipston Road. A small Sainsbury's
store is located on Bridge Street.[65] Culture[edit] Theatre[edit]

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
showing the embedded Swan Theatre

The first real theatre in Stratford was a temporary wooden affair built in 1769 by the actor David Garrick
David Garrick
for his Shakespeare Jubilee celebrations of that year to mark Shakespeare's birthday. The theatre, built not far from the site of the present Royal Shakespeare Theatre, was almost washed away in two days of torrential rain that resulted in terrible flooding.[19][20] To celebrate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth in 1864 the brewer, Charles Edward Flower, instigated the building of a temporary wooden theatre, known as the Tercentenary Theatre, which was built in a part of the brewer's large gardens on what is today the site of the new, and temporary, Courtyard Theatre. After three months the Tercentenary Theatre was dismantled, with the timber used for house-building purposes.[66] In the early 1870s, Charles Flower gave several acres of riverside land to the local council on the understanding that a permanent theatre be built in honour of Shakespeare's memory, and by 1879 the first Shakespeare Memorial Theatre
Shakespeare Memorial Theatre
had been completed. It proved to be a huge success, and by the early 20th century was effectively being run by the actor/manager Frank Benson, later Sir Frank Benson.[66] The theatre burned down in 1926, with the then artistic director, William Bridges-Adams, moving all productions to the local cinema. An architectural competition was arranged to elicit designs for a new theatre, with the winner, English architect Elisabeth Scott, creating the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
we see on the riverside today. The new theatre, adjoining what was left of the old theatre, was opened by the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, in 1932. The new theatre had many illustrious artistic directors, including the actor Anthony Quayle. Sir Peter Hall was appointed artistic director (designate) in 1959, and formed the Royal Shakespeare Company
Royal Shakespeare Company
(RSC) in 1961.

The Other Place theatre

The Rudolf Kempe
Rudolf Kempe
Society, established in memory of Rudolf Kempe, above, have a studio for performances and teaching along Stratford's Waterside

The RSC also runs two smaller theatres, the Swan Theatre, which was created in the 1980s out of the shell of the remains of the original Memorial Theatre and is modelled on an Elizabethan
theatre, quickly becoming one of the finest acting spaces in the UK, and The Other Place theatre. Along with the RST, the Swan Theatre closed in 2007 for refurbishment and reopened in November 2010. The Other Place, a Black box theatre, was extended to become the temporary RSC Courtyard Theatre, opening in July 2006 and was the home of the RSC while the RST was being refurbished – its interior is similar to the interior of the refurbished RST. The Courtyard Theatre
Courtyard Theatre
closed in 2015 and was replaced by The Other Place in March 2016, which returned as a 200-seat studio theatre within the steel extension in which the Courtyard Theatre
Courtyard Theatre
was located.[67][68] Stratford is also home to The Bear Pit Theatre which was founded in 2008 as a voluntary organisation. It has 100 seats and is part of the Little Theatre Guild.[69][70] The Attic Theatre, located next to the river, hosts productions from Tread the Board theatre company.[71] The Waterside Theatre (which is not part of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre complex) re-opened in December 2004, then closed again in September 2008. During this span, the theatre housed the Shakespearience visitor attraction.[72] This has now been turned into the Clore Learning Centre, the Royal Shakespeare Company's education and events venue. In 1986, Stratford-upon-Avon
was the venue for the disastrous provincial try-out of the ill-fated musical Carrie, based on the Stephen King
Stephen King
novel. Music[edit] Stratford ArtsHouse, previously the Civic Hall, is home to Orchestra of the Swan, a professional chamber orchestra staging up to 10 orchestral concerts with international soloists per year. [73] Kempe Studio of The Rudolf Kempe
Rudolf Kempe
Society, whose patron is Dame Judy Dench, is based in a house at 58 Waterside called The Muses and hosts musical events and masterclass lessons.[74][75] No. 1 Shakespeare Street holds regular evenings of live music.[76] Museums and Shakespeare's houses[edit] Tudor World is a museum which explores the time when Shakespeare lived. It is based in a Grade II* listed town centre Tudor property and is the only museum in the country dedicated to Tudor times. Every week there is a walk around the town with Shakespeare.[77] The Mechanical Art and Design museum, but better known as MAD museum, is a museum in Henely Street of "brilliant-but-bonkers machines" made by Kinetic artists. Items on show include mechanised flipbooks and a musical typewriter.[78]

Nash's House, and the gardens of New Place

There are five houses relating to Shakespeare's life
Shakespeare's life
which are owned and cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. These include Hall's Croft
Hall's Croft
(the one-time home of Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna, and her husband Dr. John Hall) and Nash's House, which stands alongside the site of New Place
New Place
which was owned by Shakespeare himself, wherein he died. In Shottery
is Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the home of Shakespeare's wife's family prior to her marriage. Mary Arden's House (Palmer's Farm), the family home of his mother, is in Wilmcote. Elsewhere in the district are farms and buildings at Snitterfield, that belonged to the family of Shakespeare's father. In addition, King Edward VI School, located on the corner of Church Street and Chapel Lane, is a grammar school thought to have been attended by William Shakespeare. In 2016, the school room where Shakespeare is believed to have studied opened to visitors.[79] Literature[edit] Stratford has one library, located in Henley Street within a medieval building.[13] Since 2008, Stratford has hosted the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival, which holds two literary events a year, with one event in spring and a shorter festival in autumn.[80][81] The festival has talks from celebrity guests, workshops and educational programmes and has become one of the most noted literary festivals in the country,[82] with speakers including: Kirsty Wark, Alan Johnson MP, Baroness Shirley Williams, Tom Kerridge, Sir Tim Rice, John McCarthy, Michael Rosen, Howard Jacobson, Jeffrey Archer, Michael Palin, Jeremy Paxman, Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell
and Paul Merton.[83] Shakespeare's celebrations[edit] Every year, Shakespeare's birthday is celebrated in Stratford. The celebration takes place over two days on the weekend closest to the 26th of April, the date of his birth, and includes musical performances, drama and a parade through the town.[84] In 2016, events were held in Stratford to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.[85] Pubs[edit] The Garrick Inn is reputedly the oldest pub in Stratford, with an inn existing on the site since medieval times.[86][87] The Dirty Duck, located along Waterside, is a popular pub for actors performing at the nearby RSC theatres.[88] For the last ten years, the Campaign for Real Ale
Campaign for Real Ale
(CAMRA) has held a beer and cider festival in the town.[89] Streets[edit] Henley Street[edit]

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Henley Street, one of the town's oldest streets, underwent substantial architectural change between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. John Shakespeare's large half-timbered dwelling, purchased by him in 1556, was in 1564 the birthplace of his son William. According to a descriptive placard provided for tourists there,

"The property remained in the ownership of Shakespeare's direct descendants until 1670, when his granddaughter, Elizabeth Barnard, died. As she had no children, Elizabeth left the estate to her relative Thomas Hart, Shakespeare's great-nephew. The main house became a tenanted inn called the Maidenhead (later the Swan and Maidenhead) following the death of John Shakespeare
John Shakespeare
in 1601. Members of the Hart family continued living in the small adjoining cottage throughout the century."

At the end of the 19th century, Edward Gibbs "renovated" the building to more closely represent the original Tudor farmhouse. Adjacent to Shakespeare's Birthplace
Shakespeare's Birthplace
stands the Shakespeare Centre, completed in 1964 and not far from the Carnegie Library, opened in 1905. The large half-timbered building which now comprises numbers 19, 20 and 21 was formerly the White Lion Inn.[90] It is first mentioned in 1603.[91] and was adjoined on the east by a smaller inn called the "Swan". In 1745 the latter was purchased by John Payton, who also acquired the "Lion" five years later and rebuilt the whole premises on a greatly enlarged scale. (Cal. of Trust Title Deeds, no. 147.) The work was completed by James Collins of Birmingham, builder, in 1753. (Contract, Trust Title Deeds, no. 167.) Payton "brought the house into great vogue"[92] though Byng in 1792 complained that "at the noted White Lion, I met with nothing but incivility" (cited from Torrington Diaries (ed. Andrews), iii, 152).[90] Payton was succeeded as innkeeper by his son John, and its reputation as one of the best inns on the Holyhead road must have contributed not a little to the prosperity of the town. Garrick stayed at the "White Lion" during the Jubilee of 1769 (Saunders MSS. 82, fol. 20)[90] and George IV, as Prince Regent, visited it when he came to Stratford in 1806.[93] Its great days came to an end after John Payton the younger sold it to Thomas Arkell in 1823.[90] The building is now home to the Enchanted Manor Museum at the Creaky Cauldron and Magic Alley; the Box Brownie Café; Doug Brown's Really Good Gift Company; and the Not Just Shakespeare Tourist Information Centre. Henley Street is now a major tourist and shopping precinct with many al fresco cafés and street entertainers. Sheep Street[edit]

Some of the many cafés and restaurants along Sheep Street

Sheep Street runs from Ely Street eastwards to the Waterside. It was a residential quarter in the 16th century, some of the buildings were rebuilt following the fire of 1595, although many, such as Number 40, date from 1480. Formerly a two-story building that was extended in the early twentieth century has a lower story of substantial close-set studding: the upper is of more widely spaced thin vertical timbers.[94] As the name suggests Sheep Street, which leads down from the Town Hall to Waterside and the RST, was from early times and until the late 19th century, the area where sheep, brought from the neighbouring Cotswold Hills to be bought and sold.[12] Today it is the restaurant centre of the town. The Shrieves House is one of the oldest still lived in houses in the town and Shakespeare is said to have based his character of Sir John Falstaff
on one of the residents, his godson's uncle. Oliver Cromwell is thought to have stayed here in 1651. He wrote a letter from the town to Lord Wharton on 27 August 1651,[95] before the Battle of Worcester. Behind The Shrieves House is a museum called "Tudor World" with recreations of 16th century life in theatrical settings. Just off Sheep Street is Shrieves walk, a very quaint walkway with several small independent stores, including a Vintage Clothing shop. Waterside and Southern Lane[edit]

Statue of Falstaff
in Bancroft Gardens

This area of Stratford, which runs from the foot of Bridge Street to Holy Trinity Church (and leads directly off Sheep Street and Chapel Lane) runs alongside the River Avon and offers access to the Waterside Theatre and all areas of the RST. The Bancroft Gardens[96] and river area is a very popular place for people watching, enjoying picnics and river activities. In the summer the River Avon is busy with rowing boats, motor boats and river cruises. The Birmingham
to Stratford Canal is busy with colourful narrowboats passing through or mooring up in the canal basin Stratford-upon-Avon
Canal. There are often jugglers, fire-eaters and magicians entertaining the public on the lawns. On the edge of the gardens is a water fountain, known as the Swan Fountain. It was unveiled in 1996 by the Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
to recognise that Stratford has been a market town since 1196. It is from here the Stratford Town Walk meet every day (even Christmas Day), to offer a guided walking tour of the town. The tour passes the Shakespeare houses, Royal Shakespeare Theatres, 15th century timber-framed buildings, William Shakespeare's school and visits Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare was baptised and is buried. Waterside is also the location of The Dirty Duck pub which is frequented by actors from the nearby RSC theatres, theatre critics and theatregoers.[88] Other attractions[edit] Harvard House
Harvard House
is located at 26 High Street. Other attractions include the Stratford Butterfly Farm, which is on the eastern side of the river and the Bancroft Gardens and Stratford Armouries
Stratford Armouries
located three miles (4.8 km) from the centre of Stratford on Gospel Oak Lane. Each year on 12 October (unless this is a Sunday, in which case 11 October) Stratford hosts one of the largest mop fairs in the country. Ten days later, the smaller Runaway fair is held.[97] Transport[edit]

railway station

Stratford is 22 miles (35 km) from the UK's second largest city, Birmingham, and is easily accessible from junction 15 of the M40 motorway. The 7 miles (11 km) £12 million Stratford Northern Bypass opened in June 1987 as the A422. Stratford-upon-Avon railway station
Stratford-upon-Avon railway station
has good rail links from Birmingham
(Snow Hill station, Moor Street station) and from London, with up to seven direct trains a day from London Marylebone. Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway railway station
Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway railway station
opened on 19 May 2013 to the north of the town. The Stratford on Avon and Broadway Railway Society aims to re-open the closed railway line from Stratford-upon-Avon
to Honeybourne, with a later extension to Broadway, Worcestershire. The Honeybourne Line
Honeybourne Line
is being extended towards Honeybourne from Cheltenham Racecourse to connect with the Cotswold Line. The Cotswold trains run by Great Western Railway go to Worcester
Shrub Hill, Worcester
Foregate Street, Great Malvern and Hereford westwards and eastwards to Oxford, Reading and Paddington. Rail passengers currently have a very long and inconvenient journey via Birmingham
Moor Street (changing here for Birmingham
New Street) or continuing on via Birmingham
Snow Hill, and onwards to reach Worcester
Shrub Hill and places westwards. Rail passengers heading eastwards to Oxford
and Reading would have to change trains at Banbury. The Stratford-upon-Avon
and Midland Junction Railway connected Stratford with the main line of the London and North Western Railway at Blisworth until passenger trains were withdrawn in 1952.[98] The town has numerous cycle paths, and is the terminus of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal
Stratford-upon-Avon Canal
where it meets the Avon. A park and ride scheme was launched in 2006. The Stratford greenway is a 5 miles (8.0 km) traffic free cycle path, which used to be part of the rail network until the early 1960s and is now part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network
National Cycle Network
(routes NCR 5 and NCR 41). Starting from town it heads along the river and racecourse towards Welford-on-Avon
and Long Marston with a cycle hire and café available at the start of the Greenway at Seven Meadows Road.[99]

Stratford's chain ferry

The manually powered Stratford-upon-Avon chain ferry
Stratford-upon-Avon chain ferry
was opened in 1937 and links Waterside, roughly halfway between the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church, with the water meadows on the opposite side of the river. It was the last of its kind to be built in Britain.[100] Birmingham
airport is 18 miles (29 km) to the north-west, with scheduled flights to many national and international destinations. Education[edit]

Part of King Edward VI Grammar School

Stratford is also home to several institutions set up for the study of Shakespeare, including the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which holds books and documents related to the playwright, and the Shakespeare Institute. William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
is believed to have studied at King Edward VI School. Previously an all-boys school, from September 2013 up to 25% of the year 12 intake can be girls.[101] It is one of the few remaining grammar schools in England, selecting its pupils exclusively using the 11-plus
examination. There is also an all-girls grammar school, Stratford-upon-Avon
Grammar School for Girls, colloquially known as ' Shottery
School' after its location in the village of Shottery, a short distance from the town centre. Finally, there is a non-selective secondary school, Stratford-upon-Avon
High School, formerly known as the Hugh Clopton
Hugh Clopton
Secondary Modern School, which was demolished to make way for the new high school. There are no independent secondary schools in the town, but there are many primary schools, including St. Gregory's Catholic Primary School, Stratford-upon-Avon
Primary School (often known locally as "Broad Street" due to its location), Bishopton Primary School, Willows C of E Primary School and Thomas Jolyffe Primary School both state and independent, as well as Stratford-upon-Avon
College. Sport[edit]

Stratford Racecourse

Rugby Club is situated on Loxley Rd at their home ground Pearcecroft.[102] The club fields three senior sides and a colts under 18 team with the 1st XV currently playing in Midlands 1 (West).[103] The club also has a large mini and junior section.[104] Stratford-upon-Avon Cricket Club Ground is by the river opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The first match recorded there was in 1880; it has hosted first-class games since 1951 and women's One Day Internationals since 2005. Stratford Town F.C.
Stratford Town F.C.
are based at the DCS Stadium in Tiddington; they won the Midland Alliance
Midland Alliance
in the 2012/3 season and were promoted to Division One South & West of the Southern Football League. The town's parkrun event started in February 2016 and operates on the Recreation Ground every Saturday at 9 am. Stratford Racecourse is located along the Luddington Road, about one mile from the centre of town which holds 18 meetings every year. It is a National Hunt course with an oval track of approximately a mile and a quarter and is considered to be one of the UK's leading small racecourses.[105][106] Churches[edit]

Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon[107] St Gregory's Catholic Church[108] St Andrew's Church, Shottery[109] Stratford-upon-Avon
United Reformed Church[110] Stratford-upon-Avon
Methodist Church[111] First Church of Christ, scientist, Stratford-upon-Avon[112] Christadelphian

Notable people[edit] With the RSC in the town, many famous actors have at some point lived or stayed Stratford or the surrounding villages. Some of these include:

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
(1564–1616), English playwright and poet. Sarah Douglas (1952–), actress, best known for her film and TV career, was born and raised in the town. Simon Pegg, actor, studied at Stratford-upon-Avon College
Stratford-upon-Avon College
(was born in Gloucestershire, England) Jeffery Dench, actor, lived just outside Stratford in Clifford Chambers until his death in 2014 David Bradley, actor known for his role in the Harry Potter
Harry Potter
films Marc Elliott
Marc Elliott
actor, played Syed Masood
Syed Masood
on BBC EastEnders, from Stratford and attended St. Gregory's Labour MP and actor Andrew Faulds lived in Old Town, Stratford, until his death in 2000, aged 77 Actress and Animator Sarah Ann Kennedy who grew up in Stratford. She is the voice of Miss Rabbit in Peppa Pig and Nanny Plum in Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. She is also responsible for the creation of Crapston Villas, an animated soap on Channel 4

Other notable residents include:

Gordon Ramsay, noted celebrity chef, and star of several cooking related shows, moved to Stratford-Upon-Avon with his family in 1976 when he was nine years old. The historic Stratford family (who took their name from the town) Adrian Newey, famous Formula 1 designer, designed championship winning cars for Williams F1, McLaren
and Red Bull F1
Red Bull F1
teams. George Macaulay Trevelyan, historian J. B. Priestley
J. B. Priestley
died here. Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, served with the RAF at Stratford-upon-Avon
during the 1940s. Clarke later wrote the short story "The Curse", which takes place in a post-apocalyptic Stratford-upon-Avon. Former Secretary of State for War John Profumo
John Profumo
was the MP for Stratford-upon-Avon
1950–1963. From 1901 to 1924, the romantic novelist Marie Corelli, real name Minnie Mackay, daughter of Charles Mackay, made her home, with her companion Miss Vyver, at Mason's Croft, Church Street, Stratford. English footballer Dion Dublin, who has played for Manchester United, Aston Villa, Celtic, and Coventry
City, as well as the national team, lived with his wife and family in Stratford. Simon Gilbert and Neil Codling
Neil Codling
of the band Suede lived and were educated in Stratford. Members of indie bands Klaxons and Pull Tiger Tail all grew up and went to schools in Stratford before they moved to New Cross, London. W. W. Quatremain, local landscape painter Brad Moran, a former Australian Rules Footballer, grew up in Stratford before moving to Australia when he was 15. Andrew Pozzi
Andrew Pozzi
(1992–), 110m hurdler born in Stratford-upon-Avon. John Krasinski
John Krasinski
(1979–) studied at The Royal Shakespeare Company. Quentin Willson (1957–), motoring expert, journalist and ex-Top Gear presenter, lives in Stratford Patrick Robinson (1963–), Casualty actor and Strictly Come Dancing contestant, lives in Stratford Craig Charles
Craig Charles
(1964–), actor, presenter and DJ known for playing Dave Lister
Dave Lister
in Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf
and Lloyd Mullaney
Lloyd Mullaney
in Coronation Street
Coronation Street
has lived in Stratford. David Domoney
David Domoney
(1963–), gardener, co-host of Love Your Garden, lives in Stratford Lord Digby Jones
Lord Digby Jones
(1955–) lives near Stratford-upon-Avon
and is Chairman of Governors at Stratford-upon-Avon College
Stratford-upon-Avon College
and Chairman of Grove Industries which is based in the town.


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External links[edit]

Media related to Stratford-upon-Avon
at Wikimedia Commons Stratford-upon-Avon
travel guide from Wikivoyage

v t e

Stratford-on-Avon District
Stratford-on-Avon District
towns, parishes and settlements

Warwickshire County Council elections District Council elections Stratford-on-Avon Constituency


Alcester Henley-in-Arden Shipston-on-Stour Southam Stratford-upon-Avon

Large villages

Bidford-on-Avon Bishops Itchington Harbury Kineton Studley Wellesbourne

Other civil parishes, villages and hamlets

Admington Alderminster Ardens Grafton Arlescote Arrow Aston Cantlow Atherstone-on-Stour Avon Dassett Barton-on-the-Heath Bearley Beaudesert Billesley Binton Brailes Burmington Burton Dassett Butlers Marston Charlecote Claverdon Clifford Chambers Combrook Compton Verney Compton Wynyates Coughton Ettington Exhall Fenny Compton Gaydon Great Alne Great Wolford Halford Hampton Lucy Honington Idlicote Ilmington Kinwarton Ladbroke Lighthorne Lighthorne
Heath Little Compton Long Itchington Long Marston Lower Shuckburgh Loxley Luddington Milcote Morton Bagot Moreton Morrell Napton-on-the-Hill Oldberrow Oxhill Pillerton Hersey Preston Bagot Preston-on-Stour Priors Hardwick Priors Marston Quinton Radbourne Radway Salford Priors Sambourne Snitterfield Spernall Stockton Tanworth-in-Arden Temple Grafton Tredington Ullenhall Upper Shuckburgh Warmington Welford-on-Avon Weston-on-Avon Whichford Whitchurch Wilmcote Wixford Wolverton Wootton Wawen Wormleighton

List of Parliamentary constituencies in Warwickshire List of places in Warwickshire List of civil parishes in Warwickshire

v t e

Ceremonial county of Warwickshire

Boroughs or districts

Borough of North Warwickshire Borough of Nuneaton
and Bedworth Borough of Rugby District of Stratford-on-Avon District of Warwick

Major settlements

Alcester Atherstone Bedworth Coleshill Henley-in-Arden Kenilworth Nuneaton Royal Leamington Spa Rugby Shipston-on-Stour Southam Stratford-upon-Avon Warwick Whitnash See also: List of civil parishes in Warwickshire


Alne Anker Arrow Avon Blythe Cole Dene Itchen Leam Rea Sherbourne Sowe Stour Tame


Coventry Grand Union Oxford Stratford-upon-Avon Warwickshire


Flag Places (by population) History Monastic houses Museums Windmills Parliamentary constituencies SSSIs Schools Country Houses Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs

v t e

William Shakespeare



Antony and Cleopatra Coriolanus Hamlet Julius Caesar King Lear Macbeth Othello Romeo and Juliet Timon of Athens Titus Andronicus Troilus and Cressida


All's Well That Ends Well As You Like It The Comedy of Errors Cymbeline Love's Labour's Lost Measure for Measure The Merchant of Venice The Merry Wives of Windsor A Midsummer Night's Dream Much Ado About Nothing Pericles, Prince of Tyre* The Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Twelfth Night The Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsmen* The Winter's Tale


King John Edward III* Richard II Henry IV

1 2

Henry V Henry VI

1* 2 3

Richard III Henry VIII*

See also

Problem plays Late romances Characters

A–K L–Z Ghost character

Chronology Performances Settings Quarto publications First Folio Second Folio


Shakespeare's sonnets

comparison to Petrarch

A Lover's Complaint The Phoenix and the Turtle The Rape of Lucrece Venus and Adonis



Arden of Faversham The Birth of Merlin Cardenio* Double Falsehood Edmund Ironside Fair Em Locrine The London Prodigal Love's Labour's Won The Merry Devil of Edmonton Mucedorus The Puritan The Second Maiden's Tragedy Sejanus His Fall Sir John Oldcastle Sir Thomas More* The Spanish Tragedy Thomas Lord Cromwell Thomas of Woodstock Vortigern and Rowena A Yorkshire Tragedy


The Passionate Pilgrim To the Queen

Life and works

Birthplace and childhood home Bibliography

Complete Works of William Shakespeare Translations

Early editions Editors English Renaissance theatre Globe Theatre Handwriting Lord Chamberlain's Men/King's Men

The Theatre Curtain Theatre

New Place Portraits Religious views Sexuality Spelling of his name Stratford-upon-Avon Style


Attribution studies Authorship question Influence Memorials Screen adaptations Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Folger Shakespeare Library

Shakespeare Quarterly

Shakespeare's Globe
Shakespeare's Globe
(replica) Bardolatry Titles of works taken from Shakespeare


Anne Hathaway (wife) Susanna Hall
Susanna Hall
(daughter) Hamnet Shakespeare
Hamnet Shakespeare
(son) Judith Quiney
Judith Quiney
(daughter) Elizabeth Barnard
Elizabeth Barnard
(granddaughter) John Shakespeare
John Shakespeare
(father) Mary Arden (mother) Gilbert Shakespeare
Gilbert Shakespeare
(brother) Joan Shakespeare (sister) Edmund Shakespeare (brother) Richard Shakespeare (grandfather) John Hall (son-in-law) Thomas Quiney
Thomas Quiney
(son-in-law) Thomas Nash
Thomas Nash

* Shakespeare and other authors Lost

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 148913826 LCCN: n79115366 GND: 4118849-4 BNF: