Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
  playwright game the show for educators
dossier players locations evidence glossary works In Search of Shakespeare - Home
« back

Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire

exterior of Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon
Home of the Shakespeare family
on Henley Street
Stratford is William Shakespeare's hometown. The Shakespeares' house on Henley Street is maintained by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

In the sixteenth-century Stratford was a thriving rural town, home to around 1,500 people, around three days' and three nights' travel from London.

Far from offering a simpler life, in Elizabethan times a rural existence could be perched on a knife-edge. Local economies were fragile and easy victim to mishap. In towns frequented by merchants travelling from the biohazard hotspots in the south, disease, in particular plague, was a constant visitor.

Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Holy Trinity Church, where William
Shakespeare was baptized and buried,
and one of England's most visited
parish churches
The region's fragile economy could easily be disrupted; livestock could be eradicated by pests, or crops destroyed by summer deluges. In the mid 1590s two calamitous fires are known to have caused a severe food crisis in Stratford with paupers forced to rely on local handouts until a petition led to Elizabeth agreeing to "relieve this town afflicted and almost wasted by fire" from state coffers.

You Are Here

UK map Stratford-upon-Avon

Other Locations

The River Thames, LondonShakespeare's London

In your state
« back  
©MayaVision International, 2003 (site credits) (site feedback)