Encyclopedia > Stratford-upon-Avon

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Stratford-upon-Avon is a town in Warwickshire, England. In 1991 the town had a population of 22,200. Stratford is known worldwide as the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

The town is located on the river Avon, on the banks of which stands the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre[?], home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Other tourist attractions within the town include Shakespeare's birthplace and two contemporary buildings, Hall's Croft[?] (the one-time home of Shakespeare's daughter, Susannah) and New Place[?], which stands on the site of an earlier house originally owned by the playwright himself. Also within the town is Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare was baptised and is buried.

Just outside the town are two other properties associated with Shakespeare: Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the former home of Shakespeare's wife, and Mary Arden's House[?], the former home of his mother. The latter has recently been re-identified as a different house from the one originally thought to have the family link.

Non-Shakespearean attractions include a Teddy Bear[?] Museum, a Butterfly Farm and the Black Swan (locally known as the 'Dirty Duck'), frequented by actors fresh from the stage.

Another famous playwright, J.B. Priestley, died in Stratford.

The towns of Stratford, Australia[?] and Stratford, Ontario both lie upon rivers named Avon.

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