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Britain’s Treasures

Once an unassuming market town, the success of its most famous resident ensures that Stratford-upon-Avon retains its Tudor charm

SHAKESPEARE’S STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, Warwickshire

The riverside town of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire is indelibly linked to its most famous resident, the playwright William Shakespeare - and much of it still looks how it would have when the Bard strolled around the streets.

Shakespeare grew up here in the late 16th century when Stratford-upon-Avon was an important centre for the wool merchants and tanners – its position astride the River Avon made it a gateway to Britain’s canal network. He married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18, and would come to divide his time between the family home and London, choosing to finally retire to his hometown. Fans of the Bard can visit five dwellings in Stratford-upon-Avon with links to him, as well as his final resting place.

PINTS AND POETRY

Shakespeare’s Birthplace was not only a family home – years after the Bard’s death, the main house was converted into a pub, the Swan and Maidenhead Inn.

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About BBC History Revealed

Fifty years ago, astronauts Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell became the first men to escape the clutches of Earth's gravity and journey to the Moon - and in doing so, stole a march on the Soviets in the Space Race. Discover how this mission, hatched amid setbacks and failures, and shaped by the wider tensions of the Cold War, gave the US something to hope for after the trauma of 1968. Plus: History's greatest coincidences, what happened to fallen French emperor Napoleon after the Battle of Waterloo, the value of Britain's battlefields, why King James VI and I was obsessed with witch hunting, and more.