Stratford-Upon-Avon is a market town with more than 800 years of history. There are many fantastic areas here to explore, which is why visitors flock back year after year to discover more. The author of some of the most quoted lines ever written in the English Language, William Shakespeare was born here in 1564 and died here in 1616. The five houses linked to his life form the centre piece of a tourist attraction.
Shakespeare’s Birth Place
William Shakespeare is the most important playwright and poet. He is famous around the world for the phrase from his book, Hamlet: ‘To be or not to be…”
This is thought to be the house where Shakespeare was born, grew up and played. Shakespeare also spent the first five years of married life in this house with his new wife, Anne Hathaway.
The house was built in 1596 by Thomas Rogers, grandfather of John Harvard, the benefactor of Harvard University. It was also the home of Harvard’s mother. This is the original construction of the end of the 16TH century. The house is now property of Harvard University.
Thomas Nash was the first husband of Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, who lived in this house. Today, one of the best examples of a Tudor building, with the ground floor furnished, as it would have been in Nash’s day. The upper rooms show archaeological and historical information about how the origins of the town.
Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
This is the centre of Shakespearian theatre and literature. The RSC in Stratford offers three theatres providing an elaborate range of drama, ancient and modern, classic and contemporary.
The company employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year!
The Royal Shakespeare Company sells more than half a million tickets a year for Shakespeare productions at their theatres in Stratford-on-Avon, London and Newcastle.
This was the home of Susanna, the eldest daughter of William Shakespeare. She lived here with her husband, Dr John Hall. It was built in 1613, and it is an impressive piece of architecture. The house has luxurious rooms and beautiful decoration, a status achieved thanks tothe wealthy physician Dr Hall.
The couple later moved to New Place on Shakespeare’s death.
Holy Trinity Church
Shakespeare was buried in the Holy Trinity Church. He put a curse on anyone daring to move his body from that final resting place. His epitaph was:
Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here:
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.
Though it was customary to dig up the bones from previous graves to make room for others, the remains in Shakespeare’s grave are still undisturbed.