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Shakespeare Country

It's a writer's bucket list staple, isn't it? A visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare. It was certainly on mine.

First stop, Anne Hathaway's cottage in the village of Shottery, Warwickshire. This beautiful house is where Shakespeare courted his future bride, Anne Hathaway. Back then it was known as Hewlands Farm, and had more than 90 acres of land attached to it. The house itself was built before the fifteenth century.

Next stop, Palmer's Farm, in the village of Wilmcote. This 16th century farmhouse is purportedly where Mary Arden, Shakespeare's mother, grew up.

After that, it was off to the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's resting place. More than 200,000 people visit the church each year. It is Stratford's oldest building, and was built in the 1200s upon the site of a Saxon monastery.

William Shakespeare was baptised in Holy Trinity on 26 April 1564 and buried there in a 15th century chancel on 25 April 1616. His funerary monument is on the wall alongside his resting place.

His epitaph is more a warning against exhumation: GOOD FRIEND FOR JESUS SAKE FOREBEAR, TO DIGG THE DVST ENCLOSED HERE. BLESTE BE YE MAN YT SPARES THESE STONES, AND CURSED BE HE YT MOVES MY BONES. A visit to Shakespeare Country wouldn't be complete without a stop at his birthplace, a restored 16th century half-timbered house in Henley Street.

Consider the bucket list resoundingly ticked.


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