Wednesday Wander – Stratford-Upon-Avon

DSC_0494This week’s wander is to the West Midlands town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. However, he was not the only luminary to come from this small town – do you notice the American flag decorating the front of this fine half-timbered house?

DSC_0496This is Harvard House and, as the sign states, it was once the home of Katherine Rogers, mother to John Harvard, who founded Harvard University.

DSC_0497I grew up not far from Stratford-Upon-Avon and have been there many times, yet it was only on a visit a few years ago that I noticed Harvard House. It just goes to show how much history is packed into the winding streets and ancient buildings. As you can see, Harvard House was built in 1596 and has some wonderful carved decoration on the front – the initials A.R. stand for Alice Rogers, Katherine’s mother. The house was privately owned until 1909, when it was purchased by the American millionaire, Edward Morris. He restored the house and presented it to Harvard University as a gift – it is now managed on their behalf by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and is open to the public. We didn’t end up going inside that day – something for a future visit.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time πŸ™‚

18 thoughts on “Wednesday Wander – Stratford-Upon-Avon

  1. Helen, I always enjoy your Wednesday Wander. They are a welcome break in the middle of my Wednesday morning–a mini-vacation in the middle of my week. I’ve been reading them for a few weeks now, and thought I’d drop a line to let you know. Virtually therapeutic!

    1. Hi Cynthia – that is the nicest comment, thank you so much! I love that you’re enjoying my Wanders – I think that’s why I do them as well, a step away from the everyday. Really pleased that you’re coming along with me πŸ™‚

    1. lol I know, I’ve been there so many times and we were literally standing outside the house when we noticed the sign. I think Britain is so stuffed with history it’s easy to miss things, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

      1. Definitely! Especially in the West Midlands. I’m from Coventry and there some hidden gems here and it’s so sad, we should celebrate our heritage more!

      2. I grew up in Coventry! My family still live there so I’m often up for a visit πŸ™‚ I even did a Wednesday Wander about Ford’s Hospital a few weeks ago. You’re right, there are so many hidden gems there – the area is rich with history. If I recall right, the only episode of Time Team where they stayed an extra day was in Coventry, as they felt the archaeology was too good to stop working.

      3. Yes, I remember that, around the Priory area. I think Coventry has so much more to offer, but when it comes to Coventry’s history people only go back to the war, but we had such a rich history up until then, all around Warwickshire, and I feel it should be experienced more.

    1. I know, they’re just lovely, aren’t they? I imagine the fact they’ve been continuously occupied has contributed to their survival, although I think craftmanship has a lot to do with it too πŸ™‚

  2. I love Stratfordβ€”I’ve visited twice. The second time was with my family and it was snowing. Everywhere was coated in white, and so, so beautiful. The kids were young and had a great time making snowmen in Shakespeare’s yardβ€”I have the photos! My elder son even made football-shaped snowballs and kicked them! It’s probably sacrilege really … I didn’t realise the founder of Harvard’s mother grew up there, too! Must be something special about the place!

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