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Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon
Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon was the birthplace of William Shakespeare and today the town is something of a shrine to the poet-playwright, its numerous Tudor and Jacobean half-timbered houses enhancing the Shakespearean theme. Shakespeare's Birthplace on Henley Street has been restored with late 16th-century furnishings and is full of fascinating memorabilia. Another fine old building is the Elizabethan Harvard House, which, although having no connection to Shakespeare, is interesting as the birthplace of John Harvard, who founded Harvard College in Massachusets.

After an intriguing life, Shakespeare died in 1616 at the early age of 52 in a house called New Place in Stratford. The original house was demolished by the owner in 1759 because he found visitors a nuisance. The foundations remain and are adjoined by the Elizabethan-style Knott Garden and Nash's House, the superbly restored 17th-century home of Thomas Nash, husband of Shakespeare's granddaughter, Elizabeth Hall.

Another famous Stratford building is Holy Trinity Church, located on the banks of the River Avon. Here you will see the remarkable alabaster bust of Shakespeare, modeled on a wax impression of the playwright's face at his death. Nearby is Shakespeare's tomb and those of his wife, Anne Hathaway, and his daughter, Suzanna. On the banks of the River Avon to the north of the church is the Memorial Theatre, where the Royal Shakespeare Company performs the Bard's plays.

Arrange day trips to Stratford at the Oxford tourist office or through Cotswold Roaming.

Tourist Information Centre

Address: 15-16 Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3AS
Phone: 01865 726871; fax 01865 240261;

Cotswold Roaming

Address: P.O. Box 784, Headington, Oxford OX3 9YS
Phone: 01865 308300; fax 01865 763232;

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