04 April 2017

Stratford upon Avon

Sorry for my rather long silence, but I've been away.  Last week Kay and I had a mini-break in Stratford-upon Avon. I've been there before but it was over 35 years ago and in the dark. I got an evening coach trip from Leicester (where I was at uni) to see a play, so all I saw of Stratford was in the dark apart from the inside of the theatre! I felt it was high time and long overdue that I visit the town properly.

Kay had a few days off before she changed rotations and wanted to utilise the time wisely, so we hit on the idea of Stratford upon Avon. I've heard of Shakespeare (who hasn't?) and all his plays, but I did not really know anything about the man. In the space of a few days, I got to know him and his family really well. 

Kay had booked us into a lovely self-contained airbnb which was a short walk to the town centre, so we were able to sight-see during the day, walk back to the flat and refresh ourselves, before walking back to the town centre again to choose a restaurant for dinner.

We  saw most of the Shakespeare homes. 

First his birthplace
Front of birth house on Henley Street
Rear of birth house
Young Will had to share this bed with two of his brothers!  

Then on to Anne Hathaway's Cottage  - the home of his wife before they married. I think this place was my favourite of them all.

We also visited Hall Croft, the home of his daughter Susanna. She married a physician and Kay found it very interesting to learn about Tudor medicine. (Thank goodness we did not live in those days, is all I can say.)
Hall Croft

We also popped into Holy Trinity Church  where Shakespeare is buried. I stupidly thought he was buried in Westminster Abbey, but maybe the caption on his grave put people off moving him.

Wandering around the town there were so many beautiful old buildings - I cannot possibly put them all here, but here are a few....

We did not see a play while we were there. My hearing is not what it used to be and I did not fancy sitting through several hours of Julius Caesar, which was on during our stay, without being able to hear what was going on.

Shakespeare was 18 when he married Anne Hathaway. She was 26 and apparently "3-months with child", so they married hastily in November 1582. She probably conceived in August or September - the height of harvest-making on her farm. Say no more.  Their first-born was Susanna (who married Dr Hall,  the physician I mentioned above). Shakespeare and Anne later had twins Judith and Hamnet, but Hamnet died at the age of 11, so the Shakespeare line died out with the two girls. Shakespeare was quite a wealthy man and owned several properties in Stratford as well as in London.  It was amazing to think he left school at 15, died at the age of 52 and yet wrote so prolifically in that short time.

You can tell,  I thoroughly enjoyed my short-break and came back thoroughly refreshed.


Flowerpot said...

What a terrific break, Addy and thanks for sharing it - loved the pictures as well. My mum's birthday is 23rd April which is also his birthday so have that connection!

Valerie said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, I would have waved to you if I'd known you were there. Stratford is quite near where I live. Last time I visited the theatre they had a circular stage, with the audience seated all round, which made for better hearing. Perhaps they've changed it now.

Anna of Mutton Style and Years said...

I enjoyed Stratford when I visited. I found the talk in the kitchen interesting about the potage and pot luck.

DD's Diary said...

Looks like a lovely trip. It's ages since I've been to Stratford and the last time was when Child One was 2 and we went to visit Tellytubby land! Not very cultural as you can imagine but great fun in its way :)

Elizabeth said...

Fabulous! Thank you for the photos - I have never been to Stratford-upon-Avon, nor ever saw photos - but yours make me want to visit.

Polly said...

Great photos, looks like you had good weather. It's years since I visited Stratford, your photos make me want to go again.