Link to Home Page
Home Page
   
House of York, Charlotte Street, Birmingham
 
About us Jewellery Quarter Birmingham Local Places Resident Pages
Private Contacts History Other Pages Links

Places Around Birmingham

From its position at the centre of England the second city is at the heart of transport systems wheter you are travelling by road, rail or waterway. On this page we will feature some of the places of interest that you may like to visit.

Warwick

Warwick Castle and the River Avon
Warwick Castle and the River Avon
The gardens at Warwick Castle.
The gardens at Warwick Castle.

Warwick is the historic County Towm of Warwickshire, a county that originally contained Birmingham, prior to the establishment of the West Midlands as a county. Warwick was founded in 914 AD by Ethelfleda, sister of Edward the Elder and daughter of Alfred the Great, as a defence against the Danish invaders. Warwick is about 24 miles from Birmingham.

Warwick Castle dates from 1068 and was commissioned by William the Conqueror. By 1260 a stone structure had replaced the original wooden Gatehouse and corner defensive positions. and the main building (now the site of the house) was built. By 1400, the large Guy’s and Caesar’s Towers and the Barbican had been added.

Warwick Castle claims to be Britain’s Greatest Mediaeval experience but there are other places of historic significance in the town, including the Lord Leycester Hospital with its fine mediaeval timber framed buildings, the military museums and the Collegiate Church of St Mary famous for its Beauchamp Chapel.

Peacocks at Warwick Castle.
Peacocks at Warwick Castle.

Stratford upon Avon

Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford upon Avon
Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford upon Avon
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon.
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon.
The Shakespeare Memorial, Bancroft Gardens, Stratford.
The Shakespeare Memorial, Bancroft Gardens, Stratford.

Stratford-upon-Avon is 26 miles from Birmingham and is internationally renowned as the birth place of William Shakespeare, who was was born at in a house in Henley Street in 1564. His mother, Mary Arden, was one of the daughters of Robert Arden, a yeoman farmer of Wilmcote: his father, John Shakespeare, was a glover and wool dealer of good standing who held the office of Bailiff of the Borough in 1568.

At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who was seven years his senior and three months pregnant. She was of ’yeoman’ stock - her family owned a farm one mile west of Stratford in Shottery. He then left his wife to became actor-manager and part-owner in the Blackfriars and afterwards the Globe Theatres in London.

Anne Hatherway's Cottage
Anne Hatherway's Cottage

Shakespeare was a first-rate actor, but it is as a writer of plays that he has achieved lasting world-wide fame. His plays 37 vary in type; historical romances, light comedies and tragedies. As a shrewd business man he amassed a considerable fortune and returned to Stratford for his latter years where he died in 1616 at the age of 52 and is buried Holy Trinity Church.

Stratford upon Avon has many attractions based around the Shakespeare theme including the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, opened in 1932 and redeveloped in the first decade of this century. The theatre is on the banks of the Warwickshire Avon, often refered to as Shakespeare’s Avon, and overlooking the basin of the Stratford upon Avon Canal, that forms part of the canal link between Stratford and Birmingham. There is also a direct train service between these places.