Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham and 8 miles (13 km) south west of Warwick. It is the largest and most populous town of Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term “on” to indicate that it covers a much larger area than the town itself.Four electoral wards make up the urban town of Stratford; Alveston, Avenue and New Town, Mount Pleasant and Guild and Hathaway. The estimated total population for those wards in 2007 was 25,505.
The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of the playwright and poet William Shakespeare, receiving about three million visitors a year from all over the world.The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre, one of Britain’s most important cultural venues.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where the wife of William Shakespeare lived as a child in the village of Shottery, Warwickshire, England, about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Stratford-upon-Avon. Spacious, and with several bedrooms, it is now set in extensive gardens.
The earliest part of the house was built prior to the 15th century. The cottage was known as Newlands Farm in Shakespeare’s day and had more than 90 acres (36 hectares) of land attached to it. As in many houses of the period, it has multiple chimneys to spread the heat evenly throughout the house during winter. The largest chimney was used for cooking. It also has visible timber framing, typical of vernacular Tudor style architecture.
After the death of Hathaway’s father, the cottage was owned by her brother Bartholomew, and was passed down the Hathaway family until 1846, when financial problems forced them to sell it. However, it was still occupied by them as tenants when it was acquired in 1892 by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which removed later additions and alterations. In 1969 the cottage was badly damaged in a fire, but was restored by the Trust. It is now open to public visitors as a museum.
The Cotswolds are a range of hills in southwestern and west-central England, an area 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (145 km) long. The area has been designated as the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The highest point in the Cotswolds range is Cleeve Hill at 1,083 ft (330 m), 2.5 miles (4 km) to the north of Cheltenham.
The Cotswolds lie mainly within the ceremonial counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, but extend into parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire. The hills give their name to the Cotswold local government district in Gloucestershire, which administers a large part of the area.