Stratford-upon-Avon is a town in the English county of Warwickshire. The near Birmingham is one of around 23,700 inhabitants situated town (2001) and is the administrative headquarters of the similarly worded District Stratford-on-Avon. Stratford is primarily as the birthplace of William Shakespeare’s famous. In addition to some industries, such as aluminum processing and boat building, the city is primarily a major tourist center.
The name Stratford is from the Anglo-Saxon : strete ford meaning ford road, pointing to the spot where in Roman times, the road crossed the Avon. In 1196 the Bishop of Worcester, founded a city there, and secured her to the royal trading rights. At present Shakespeare’s Stratford had about 1,500 inhabitants. At the outbreak of the plague in 1675 killed 60 people. That meant for a long time the decline of the city.
It was not until after 1760 it was again raised in the minds of the English population, as the famous actor David Garrick there a three-day commemorative event organized in honor of Shakespeare. He also participated in the financing for the construction of City Hall in 1767, he Shakespeare Hall called. But only with the expansion of the railways and other transportation routes in the 19th Century developed into a major tourist center in Stratford.
The city is visited annually by over two million people. Main attractions are the sites that have a – reference to Shakespeare and his work – even if only partially vague. Above all, the supposed birthplace of the poet in Henley Street. This was in 1564 at least one “William Shakespeare” was born, his father, John Shakespeare had his workshop here. It dates from the early 16th Century and is an example of a typical house of the English middle class at that time. It is a timber-framed house, with brown painted wooden beams, the spaces filled with wattle and daub. The building is well restored and open to the public, inside you will find furniture from the Elizabethan period, but not a single part that has really heard Shakespeare.
The Grammar School in Church Lane existed since the 15th Century, and it is very likely, though not certain, that William Shakespeare was a student there. The son of a well-respected citizen of the city (John Shakespeare was, among other councilor in Stratford), it is hardly conceivable that he should not have gone to school. There are however no longer relevant school documents. In the street Old Town is Hall’s Croft’s, a picturesque old half-timbered house, which formerly Dr. John Hall belonged to the son of Shakespeare.
New Place, the house that Shakespeare from his not inconsiderable fortune in 1597 in the Chapel Street is bought, but not anymore. It was demolished in 1759 by its then owner, because he felt harassed by the crowds of curious visitors. Tourists can now only visit a beautiful garden, where once stood the house, and where the foundations are still visible. Within a small cemetery on the outskirts of Stratford, is the Holy Trinity Church with the grave of Shakespeare, a memorial stone and a stone bust.
More Shakespeare memorials are located in the vicinity of the place. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the birthplace of Shakespeare’s wife, is in the small village of Shottery, just 2 miles outside Stratford, and the house of Mary Arden, his mother, in Wilmcote, about 5 km away. An important building in recent times is the world’s acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Theatre, 1933 under the name of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre was built (Shakespeare Memorial Theatre) and renamed 1961st It stands on the banks of the River Avon and is the main museum of the Royal Shakespeare Company.