Visiting Stratford-upon-Avon – 5 interesting facts to know

Packed full of history and drama we love exploring all that Stratford-upon-Avon has to offer.

Here are just five of our favourite interesting and fun facts about this famous town.

Stratford-upon-Avon was originally inhabited during Anglo-Saxon times. Its name derives from a mixture of Celtic and Saxon languages which, when translated, simply mean ‘the area where a road crosses a river by a ford’. It is believed that this refers to the ford where a Roman road once crossed the River Avon – the same location that was later used for the Clopton Bridge, which still stands today.

Stratford-upon-Avon was originally inhabited during Anglo-Saxon times. Its name derives from a mixture of Celtic and Saxon languages which, when translated, simply mean ‘the area where a road crosses a river by a ford’. It is believed that this refers to the ford where a Roman road once crossed the River Avon – the same location that was later used for the Clopton Bridge, which still stands today.

Within weeks of Shakespeare’s birth in 1564 an outbreak of The Plague swept through Stratford-upon-Avon, killing over 200 people that year. Oliver Gunn, an apprentice weaver, was the first recorded death from the disease, with the words ‘Here begins the plague’ scribbled next to his burial entry. It is said he died in what is now The Garrick Inn – thought to be the oldest pub in Stratford and filled with rumours of resident ghosts, we recommend a visit.

Photo by Amanda Slater

The property now known as Shakespeare’s Birthplace was the home in which Shakespeare was born, raised and spent the first five years of his married life. Although he was the third born of a total of eight children, by 1601 when his father John died, he was the eldest surviving child and therefore inherited the family home on Henley Street. A fascinating building with a famous history, a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a must during a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

 

The property now known as Shakespeare’s Birthplace was the home in which Shakespeare was born, raised and spent the first five years of his married life. Although he was the third born of a total of eight children, by 1601 when his father John died, he was the eldest surviving child and therefore inherited the family home on Henley Street. A fascinating building with a famous history, a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a must during a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

 

Whilst most visitors to Stratford will be full of thoughts of the famous Bard and theatre, it is also worth noting that it is the home of the UK’s largest tropical butterfly farm. A wonderful place to visit - discover hundreds of the world’s most spectacular and beautiful species.

 

Finally, if you’re hoping to meet the stars of the stage during your visit to Stratford, here’s a little fun fact - The Dirty Duck pub is the place to go! A favourite celebrity haunt, you’ll often find members of the RSC here after a performance or between rehearsals.

 

Finally, if you’re hoping to meet the stars of the stage during your visit to Stratford, here’s a little fun fact - The Dirty Duck pub is the place to go! A favourite celebrity haunt, you’ll often find members of the RSC here after a performance or between rehearsals.

 

For those wishing to enjoy a tour of Stratford-upon-Avon, we recommend joining us on our Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Cotswolds’ Villages Tour – exploring the town you’ll see both Shakespeare’s grave and have the chance to visit his birthplace.