Stratford-upon-Avon Things to Do

  • Shakespeare's Birthplace, Startford-upon-Avon, UK
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Best Rated Things to Do in Stratford-upon-Avon

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    HOLY TRINITY CHURCH

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Located on the banks of the River Avon in Stratford, the Church was first mentioned in 845.
    Two Churches were in this location before the present limestone building was begun in 1210 and built in the shape of a cross.
    Inside, is the finest renaissance tomb in all England, that of George Carew (died 1629) and his wife.

    When I walked to the Church, it was through and avenue of lime trees, said to represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Apostles.
    Little on the outside has changed since Shakespeare's time, only the present stone Spire was added in 1763.

    OPENING HOURS....
    (March and October)
    Monday-Saturday: 9am - 5pm Sunday: 12.30pm - 5pm
    (April-September)
    Monday-Saturday: 8.30am - 6pm Sunday: 12.30 pm - 5 pm
    (November-February)
    Monday-Saturday: 9 am - 4pm Sunday: 12.30 pm - 5 pm

    Admission to the church is usually FREE, except for advertised concerts and exhibition's.
    Please make a donation of 1gbp to visit Shakespeare's grave

    Holy Trinity church Holy Trinity church
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    The Guild Chapel

    by Mique Updated Jul 4, 2004

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    The Guild Chapel is rather small and attracts a lot less tourists then the Holy Trinity Church. But then again, there is no Shakespeare buried here..

    It is a nice church though and very old. It was build in 1269 on a previous existing building. And there are still some old (16th century) fresco's to be admired.

    The picture is taken from the garden of New Place (or Nash House, i'm not sure whose garden it was). Nowadays this garden belongs to Nash house.

    The Guild Chapel
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    TUDOR WORLD

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Located in a historic building in Sheep Street, is the Tudor World at the Falstaff Experience.
    It's been voted an award-winning attraction which brings the 16th century to life!
    If you are interested, please check out the website for more info.

    I didn't go in, just viewed the wattle and daub building from the outside, dating back to Shakespeare's time.
    The building was bequeathed by King Henry VIII to William Shrieve, who was an archer.
    No wonder it's looking a bit worn, as it has stood through time's of plague, religious persecution, treason, intrigue, war, fire, and of course, Shakespeare.

    Shakespeare often came here to visit his friends, William and Elizabeth Rogers, who ran the The Three Tunns Tavern from the site. Elizabeth's nephew, William Walker, was Shakespeare's Godson. Shakespeare is reputed to have based his famous character Falstaff on William the tavern keeper.
    Interesting!
    So, here I was, walking down the street, and then viewing the building where Shakespeare once frequented, wow!

    Tudor World
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    HARVARD HOUSE

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Harvard House is one of those old black & white houses, built long ago in 1596.
    The owner was Alderman Thomas Rogers, who was a wealthy townsman, butcher, corn and cattle trader.
    Have a look at the carved facade, as it include's carved initials along with a bull's head to denote his trade, said to be the richest example in the town.
    The building has been used by blacksmiths, as a book shop, breeches makers and an estate agents until 1909, when American millionaire, Edward Morris of Chicago bought and restored the building.
    It was then given to Harvard University.

    In 1996, it became the Museum of British Pewter.

    Harvard House Harvard House on the right
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    TUDOR BUILDING'S

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Stratford-Upon-Avon is full of half-timbered Black & White Tudor building's.

    The Tudor period spanned the 16th and 17th centuries, and here in Stratford, is a great display of many different Tudor style's used in the woodwork.
    I walked around town, and I think it a MUST DO, to see these building's. I didn't have a map, but just went where-ever I saw a building of interest.

    Stratford upon Avon Stratford upon Avon Stratford upon Avon
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    ALM HOUSES

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    The Alm houses were founded at the beginning of the 15th century by the Guild of the Holy Cross for elderly locals.
    It is a continuous row of lovely black and white & tan & brown building's. They are still in good repair thanks to being restored during the 1980's. Next to them are the Guild Chapel and the King Edward VI Grammar School.

    OPEN DAILY - ADMISSION FREE

    Almhouse's Almhouse's
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    GOWER MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    Shakespeare, and as the year's went by, he was a recognized as one of the greatest Poet's in the World, but there were no Monument's to him!
    So, in 1877, a committee was formed to erect a memorial to Shakespeare in his own Town.
    It was in 1888, a Memorial Statue was built by Lord Ronald Gower, hence the name "Gower Memorial."

    I found this Memorial in Stratford's Bancroft Gardens. Not only was there a monument of Shakespeare seated on a pedestal, but surrounding him were statues of Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Prince Hal, and Falstaff.
    These characters represent Philosophy, Tragedy, History, and Comedy.

    A very nice Memorial in a lovely setting

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    BANCROFT GARDEN'S

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    The Bancroft Gardens are located on the bank of the River Avon and in front of the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

    After enjoying our meal in Stratford, we walked to these garden's to sit for a while before heading to our Hotel.
    There weren't many people around, so as soon as the lovely White Swan's saw us, they all came swimming to be fed! We have Black Swan's at home.
    A skateboarder was whizzing around the park, like he had done this route a 100 time's before, and then people started arriving at the Theatre, so we guessed, there must have been something on.
    We then went for a walk, and viewed the flower bed's and then all the moored Narrow Boats.
    It really was a lovely spot to enjoy some quiet time and the view's in the Park.

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    THE WINDMILL INN

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    Not all building's in Stratford upon Avon are Tudor black & white, there are other quaint ones, like the Windmill Inn near Nash's House.
    It is a Pub, built in 1599, and a year later, became "Ale house of the year." This is inscribed in one of the original Oak beam's in the Pub.
    On the outside, it's painted white, and with the colourful flower boxes, a very inviting Pub.
    Was it one of Shakespeare's haunts, as it is situated close to his last residence at New Place?

    Good food, real ale, reasonable prices!

    Windmill Inn
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    THE WHITE SWAN

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    The White Swan Hotel date's back to 1450 making the hotel one of the oldest buildings in town.
    In one of the rooms at the front of the building there is a wall painting, commissioned by William Perrott in 1560 for his wife. The wall painting depicts the story of Tobais.

    IF THE LEGEND IS TRUE.....The building housed a bakery where Shakespeare himself bought his daily bread!

    The Hotel has a traditional restaurant, and inside there are antiques and original features including open fire-place's for those winter day's.

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    RIVER AVON

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    Stratford upon Avon, so of course, the River Avon run's through the town.

    Punting on the Avon, I remember reading about that, and now here I was admiring the very same River. A little further along the River was a beautiful arched Bridge.
    Narrow Boat's were tied up alongside the bank, one was called the "Barge Gallery."

    It was late in the day near Shakespeare Theatre, Boat tour's had finished and there wasn't anybody about on the River.

    Of course, during the day, there are cruise's along the River, departing from Bancroft Garden's next to the Theatre. You can choose from Row Boat's & Punt's, hired by the hour, or take a pleasure cruise for 30 - 45mins
    There are three different companies to choose from.

    The River Avon wends its way for 96 miles through Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire

    River Avon River Avon River Avon River Avon River Avon
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    GUILD CHAPEL

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    The Guild Chapel actually resemble's a Church more than a Chapel. It was established during the 13th century, then rebuilt 200 years later.
    It's an important religious landmark which has some very well preserved 16th-century frescoes on the interior wall's.

    It was free to enter. Inside a Doom is painted above the chancel arch, one of the largest surviving versions of its kind in Britain. It is the largest surviving fragment of a series of frescoes, painted in the late 15th century.
    Lining the wall of the chapel are painting's depicting many religious topics, including the legend of he Holy Cross, St George and the Dragon, the martyrdom of St Thomas Beckett and the Dance of Death.
    The paintings were rediscovered during building work in 1804.

    Services are held at the Guild Chapel each Wednesday morning, and again once a month, on the first Saturday of the month.

    OPEN DAILY 9 - 5PM
    ADMISSION....FREE

    Guild Chapel Guild Chapel Guild Chapel Guild Chapel Guild Chapel
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    COUNTRY ARTIST'S FOUNTAIN

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    This is a lovely fountain depicting a stainless steel pair of dancing Swan's.
    It was built to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Richard1, granting market right's and the granting of borough status by the Bishop of Worcestor, both in 1196.

    It was inaugarated by Her Majesty the Queen in 1996, and stand's nearby Shakespeare Theatre.

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    Hall’s Croft

    by grayfo Written Sep 26, 2009

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    Hall’s Croft is named after Dr. John Hall, who married Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna. Built in 1613 this impressive piece of architecture reflects the Hall's comparative wealth and status. Inside is an exhibition of medicine with references to remedies and potions mentioned in some of Shakespeare’s plays. Most of the furniture dates from the first half of the 17th century and includes many rare and exquisite pieces. There are also several 17th century portraits depicting families and individuals of similar wealth. The large garden is home to an ancient mulberry tree and an herbal bed.

    email info@shakespeare.org.uk

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    Nash's House

    by Mique Written Jul 4, 2004

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    This is the house of Thomas Nash who married Shakespeare's granddaughter Elizabeth Hall.

    It is a small museum with furniture of the time of Shakespeare. A portrait of the Nashes and it leads to the grounds where once stood New Place. The last house where Shakespeare lived

    Nash's House
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