Holy Trinity Church
You can almost feel the age of the place. It was probably my favorite place in Stratford Upon Avon. The people who must have come and gone throughout the years. I also adore graveyards (don’t ask). I’ve always felt peaceful when walking through them. You can see our lovely guide in these photos!
William Shakespeare was born and died in Stratford-upon-Avon, both of which happened on St. George’s day (23rd April). Though those dates are up for debate. Records of his baptism on (April 26th 1564) and of his burial on (25th April 1616) are from the Holy Trinity Church where both events took place. Within a few years of his death, a memorial to Shakespeare was erected. This memorial (see below) is thought to be a good likeness.
Shakespeare’s grave reads:
- 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.
It’s thought to be a warning to anyone who’d wish to removal Shakespeare’s body to Westminster Abbey or the exhumation of his body for examination.
Aside from the Shakespearian side of the church, I found it’s misericord carvings most entertaining. A highlight of the Stratford Town Walk. While the stained glass is beautiful, it’s not what I remember most from the church. I remember these carvings above all else. They are supposed to be scenes depicting ‘morals’. The second image is a woman who talked too much (per her husband) and got punished for it. Misericords were created in a world where the majority of people were unable to read or write. “The carvings are a mixture of bawdy and satirical with a theatrical, almost carnival-like element, but with an underlying sacred meaning. They are a stark reminder that the devil is everywhere in everyday life and is poised to drag souls to hell.”
Stratford Town Walk Tour
Once again, Stratford Town Walk is a great tour whether you have a few days in Stratford-Upon-Avon or a day like I did. It’s affordable and the guides are full of fascinating facts! It’s also easily walkable, no hills or difficult terrain.