What is Stratford-Upon-Avon Known For?
Commonly known as simply Stratford, Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish situated in the county of Warwickshire, within the West Midlands region. Sat just by the River Avon, the town is the southernmost point of the Arden area on the edge of the tranquil and idyllic Cotswolds, with a population of just over 30,000.
Stratford-upon-Avon was originally inhabited by Britons before Anglo-Saxons, remaining as a village until it was developed into a town during 1196, the same year it was granted a charter from King Richard I to hold weekly markets in the town, making it the market town we know today. Stratford saw booming trade and commerce as a result of the markets, as well as increased urban expansion.
Today, the town is a popular destination for tourists and visitors, with almost three million visitors every year, largely due to it being the birthplace and burial place of William Shakespeare. The Royal Shakespeare Company even sits in Stratford’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and No. 1 Shakespeare Street holds regular nights of live music. Shakespeare is so celebrated in the town that the playwright’s birthday is celebrated annually over a two day period, with musical performances, drama, and a parade through the town.
Stratford has a thriving culture, particularly in the theatre and arts region. Stratford Arts House, previously the Civic Hall, is home to the Orchestra of the Swan, a professional chamber orchestra which stages around 10 concerts per year.