The birthplace of William Shakespeare, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company and one of the great tourist destinations in England. The town was established as a Romano-British settlement beside the river crossing on the busy Exeter to Lincoln route. In 1086 during the Domesday survey Stratford was a manor house belonging to Wulstan, Bishop of Worcester. In 1196 Richard I granted permission for a weekly market thereby establishing Stratford’s early days as a market town. This instigated the annual Mop Fair on October 12 where local labourers sought employment. The tradesman’s society, the Guild of the Holy Cross, was later formed to promote the crafts and local industries.
During Shakespeare’s time Stratford was home to 1,500 persons and was a bustling centre for the marketing of corn, malt and livestock, as well as being a centre for local government, and proud to foster one of the country’s finest grammar schools. The town’s buildings were predominantly Elizabethan and Jacobean. Today, there are C15 half- timbered buildings on Church Street, and C16 to C17 timber-framed houses in Chapel Street, the High Street and Wood Street plus a number of C18 period buildings of re-frontings with brick and stucco. It is not strictly a Cotswold town, but is included as it lies on the edge of the map, and is worthy of a day’s visit from Broadway, or Chipping Campden.
“Special Places" to Visit:
Butterfly Farm & Jungle
Holy Trinity Church
Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Shakespeare's Birthplace Properties: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Hall’s Croft, Mary Arden’s Farm, New Place and Harvard House.