Stratford-upon-Avon HD – Travel Videos – Tours Videos HD
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 the non-metropolitan district Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term “on” rather than “upon” to distinguish it from 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 4.9 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.
Stratford has Anglo-Saxon origins, and developed as a market town during the medieval period. The original charters of the town were granted in 1196, making Stratford over 800 years old. The name is a combination of the Old English strǣt, meaning “street”, and ford, indicating a site at which a road forded a river. The “street” was a smaller Roman road connecting the larger roads Fosse Way and Icknield Street.
In 1769 the actor David Garrick staged a major Shakespeare Jubilee over three days which saw the construction of a large rotunda and the influx of many visitors. This contributed to the growing phenomenon of Bardolatry which made Stratford a tourist destination.
The administrative body for the town is the Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council, which is based at the Town Hall in Rother Street. The Stratford-on-Avon District Council is based at Elizabeth House, Church Street, and the Stratford-upon-Avon Town Trust is based in the Civic Hall, Rother Street. The Town Council is responsible for crime prevention, cemeteries, public conveniences, litter, river moorings, parks, grants via the Town Trust and the selection of the town’s mayor.
Stratford is close to the Cotswolds, with Chipping Campden 10 miles (16 km) to the south. The Cotswolds were a major sheep producing area, up until the latter part of the 19th century, regarded Stratford as one of its main centres for the processing, marketing, and distribution of sheep and wool. Consequently Stratford also became a centre for tanning during the 15th–17th centuries. Both the river and the Roman road served as trade routes for the town.
Suburbs and areas of Stratford-on-Avon include Shottery, Bishopton, Bridgetown, Tiddington, and Old Town.