It was the day after Boxing Day, the sales were on and Town centres were stuffed with shoppers. Desperate to get out and about whilst avoiding the crowds and the sales I decided to take a walk around Stratford. Whilst the Town has its share of shopping centres I guessed that the old part might be a bit quieter.
Stratford is a popular place and attracts many visitors from across the world. Despite this it (usually) doesn’t feel too overcrowded. Over the years Stratford has managed to quietly accomodate its many visitors. It is possible to be here on a busy day and still feel that you can have a pleasant day out.
Many buildings remain that would have been recognisable in Shakespeare’s day and usually these have been well cared for.
This is the one building that everyone who comes to Stratford wants to see. It sits in Henley Street, a fairly unremarkable road that has changed greatly since Shakespeare’s day. The house gets a bit crowded on busy days and the new visitor centre (to the left of the photo below) is a bit of a monstrosity – you can tell that others agree by doing a search on Flickr – notice that people (usually) choose to take or to crop the photo so this doesn’t show up!
Holy Trinity Church
Finally, I took a walk by the side of the Avon,past the Dirty Duck pub and the Courtyard Theatre and stopped at Holy Trinity Church, Shakespeares burial place.
I read Christopher Rush’s wonderful book ‘Will’ an ‘autobiography’ of Shakespeare as dictated to his lawyer – I quote a little of it below because it sets the scene perfectly in describing Shakespeares last journey through Stratford in his funeral procession:
‘ along by the willowy banks of the Avon, following the glittering river to Holy Trinity. They carried me among alders and limes, my ears deaf now to the lapping of the river-wave and the rustle of swans, and so in at the porch and up the nave to the resting place in the chancel, close to the north wall’
A bit more from Stratford in the next post – in the meantime, happy new year from Tudor Stuff