Stratford on Avon Warwickshire

In Stratford on Avon, William Shakespeare on July 25, 2007 at 8:22 am

My first visit to Stratford on Avon and a visit here would be incomplete without a tour of some of the Shakespeare sites.

First off was his family home.

William was obviously born into a well to do family his father John being a tradesman and you can see his workshop at one end of the house for making amongst other things gloves. The house is worth a visit but is extremely popular and if you time it wrong you can be hurtled along by bus loads of tourists from all over the world. As one of the guides said the stone ground floor has been walked on by literally millions of visitors.

There seems to be very few records to determine what schools he attended or even a marriage certificate to prove he married Anne Hathaway. One of the interesting things you can see in the house is his will. He left his wife Anne just the 2nd best bed , everything else when to the rest of his family and friends. However this doesn’t prove they were necessarily unhappy in their marriage as Anne went on living in the family home until her death. However they must have lived apart for a lot of the time when William was in London writing an appearing in plays.

There is also an interesting glass window you can see in the museum on which many people have carved their names including many famous people over the course of many years. The graffiti has now become a protected item so this pane of glass is now protected in its own right.

I have to say I struggle with Shakespeare plays. Perhaps it is something that I shouldn’t admit to but for me the language is so rich every sentence has to be translated to understand the meaning and I feel as if it is a foreign language. Perhaps it also has something to do with the way we were taught Shakespeare at school. The Merchant of Venice was the play we did for our English Lit O Level. I failed – all of that pound of flesh business when I just wanted to be playing football!

The water levels had dropped considerably in a week as the photos of the Royal Shakespeare Company just the previous week had shown water levels high up on the surrounding red boards around this building. However workmen were busy here clearing out damaged carpets into skips and several of the theaters were closed.

William Shakespeare is buried at the local Holy Trinity Church and to visit this site you pay a small admittance fee I think around £1.50 for the privilege.

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