Having explored Shakespeare’s birthplace and home town, it was only right we would visit his place of rest. On the banks of the River Avon, Holy Trinity Church is the oldest building in Stratford. Dating back to 1210, much rebuilding was undertaken between 1465 and 1491. The original wooden spire was replaced in 1763.
There were many fascinating gravestones, these two seemed to be connected in some way.
I could find no information about Catharine Gill who died in 1868 at the age of 71 (on the right of the photo). However, I found that Abigail Insall, (on the left), who was buried in 1869 at 80 years of age, had lived in this gorgeous semi-detched early Georgian Town House at 4 Tyler Street. I liberated this photo from Google maps.
The interior of the church was breathtaking
with several huge stained glass windows.
William Shakespeare was buried in 1616 in the chancel alongside other members of his family.
During services, priests had to stand, which was particularly hard on the older ones. Small hinged seats, called misericords, were installed in the 15th century so the priests could rest, yet appear to be standing up. There are 26 of these misericords and each one has three carvings on the underside, only visible when the seat is folded up. There are no religious scenes but an interesting array of bawdy, theatrical faces – a reminder of the devil’s presence and his search for wayward souls.
The impressive pipe organ dates from 1841 and has undergone several restorations.
Leaving the church, we wandered along the banks of the River Avon enjoying a different perspective of Holy Trinity along the way.
The magnificent stained glass window in the chancel was more subdued from the outside.
Autumn leaves littered the path
and the geese were out for an afternoon walk.
The Tramway Bridge was built in 1822 to carry the horse tramway and is now a footbridge across the river.
100 metres to the east, road traffic crosses the river via Clopton Bridge. Built in the 15th century to replace an earlier timber bridge, the reflections from the 14 pointed arches on a clear day would be amazing.