Brass Rubbing Centre
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Summer House, Avonbank Gardens, Southern Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6XP. Tel: 01789 297671.
Open every day 10am-6pm in summer and 11am-4pm in winter.
The Centre is located in a 19th century summerhouse and has a large collection of replica Medieval and Tudor brasses. Admission is free, but a charge is made for brass rubbing which includes materials and tuition if required.
Swan's Nest Lane , Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7LS. Tel: 01789 299288. Fax: 01789 415878
Open every day 10am-6pm in summer and 10am-dusk in winter
Walk amongst hundreds of exotic butterflies in this rainforest environment, with tropical plants and waterfalls. Meet the world's largest spider in Arachnoland, and visit Insect City - your chance to be a fly on the wall and watch some of the world's most fascinating creatures, including ants, beetles and stick insects, in their "natural" habitats all safely behind glass! Wheelchair access to all areas. Gift shop.
This memorial to Shakespeare is situated in Bancroft Gardens in Stratford. This statue, showing Shakespeare seated, is flanked by life-size statues of Lady Macbeth, Prince Hal, Hamlet, Henry V, and Falstaff, representing Philosophy, Tragedy, History, & Comedy. The memorial was sponsored by Lord Ronald Sutherland-Gower, who presented it to the town of Stratford in 1888.
For more information see Stratford Sculptures.
The Guild chapel is on Chapel Lane. The Chapel was first built in 1269 by the Guild of the Holy Cross, a group of wealthy citizens who also built the adjoining Guildhall and Almshouses. During the 15th century, Hugh Clopton, a member of the Guild who became a Lord Mayor of London, largely rebuilt the Chapel. He also provided Stratford's stone bridge over the River Avon.
The chapel is one of the town's oldest buildings and was granted to the Crown following the suppression of the guild by King Henry VIII. The stained glass windows of the chapel depict many of the leading citizens of the town's past.
Inside the chapel are the remains of a 'Doom Painting', a mural depicting Judgement Day. This can be found on the wall at the western end of the nave. The fortunate worthy souls are shown ascending to heaven, whilst the sinners are tormented by demons and cast into flames of hell.
The Stratford Guild Hall is a building of great historic significance. Built in 1416 - 1418 and located in central Stratford, the Guild Hall still serves as a schoolroom and has been kept as it was in Shakespeare's day.
With similar institutions in the town, the Guild Hall served as a meeting-place, and as the location for annual and other feasts. The Guild's role was religious, but also commercial and educational.
It is likely that Shakespeare gained his first experience of theatre here. The upper chamber (known as the Over Hall) was used as a schoolroom, where in all probability Shakespeare was taught. It was perhaps recalling his school days here when he later wrote of 'the whining schoolboy, with his satchel, and shining morning face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school' in his play As You Like It.
The Guild Hall is today in the ownership of King Edward VI School, with the upper chamber ('Big School') still used for teaching and the lower chamber employed as the school library.
Tours by the public only by arrangement.
Harvard House & Museum of British Pewter
High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6AU. Tel: 01789 204507
This eye-catching house with its beautiful carved timbers was built by Thomas Rogers after a fire destroyed the previous house in 1596. In 1605, his daughter Katherine married Robert Harvard and it was their son John, born in 1607, who emigrated to America and founded Harvard University. The building now houses the Museum of British Pewter.
Open 12pm-5pm, 23rd May to 2nd September. Friday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays only; also open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9th July to 31st August. Limited disabled access. No toilet facilities.
HSBC Bank Building
13 Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6ET. The exterior of this building shows 15 scenes from Shakespeare's plays in terracotta relief.
For more information of HSBC (Midland) Bank and sculptures.
MAD Mechanical Art and Design Museum
4-5 Henley Street,
Stratford Upon Avon,
Marble machines, water clocks, giant clapping hands, holograms and laser lights - Interact with a whole host of weird and wonderful contraptions at the only museum of its kind in the UK - The MAD (Mechanical Art and Design Museum.
Located in the centre of Stratford upon Avon, The MAD Museum’s unusual array of Kinetic Art and Automata has been handcrafted by some of the cleverest and craziest inventors in the world.
There are buttons to press, handles to turn, lights, colours, weird sounds and laugh-out-loud moments for the whole family to enjoy. If you’re into your science, engineering, art or you’re just looking for an entertaining couple of hours – The MAD Museum offers a fantastic playground for adults and a perfect hideout for inquisitive kids
For more information see - www.theMADmuseum.co.uk.
Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall
The current town hall (on sheep Street adjacent to HSBC Bank above) was built in 1767 and replaces the previous building that was accidentally blown up during the Civil War. It is reputed to be the only Cotswold Stone building in Stratford and the leaden statue of Shakespeare (recessed in wall outside on the first floor) was presented by the famous actor/producer, David Garrick.
The Hall was originally built in the reign of Charles I and throughout its chequered history has seen calamitous events including being extensively damaged from a gunpowder explosion in 1643. Just over a century later the Hall was actually pulled down but re-built in 1767.
In 1863 major alterations resulted in a Hall very much as you see it today. However, in 1946 when fire, started from a cigarette, completely gutted the beautifully proportioned Ballroom, when a valuable painting by Gainsborough of David Garrick was destroyed.
The Town Hall houses many interesting and historic paintings and treasures.
The leaden statue of William Shakespeare was sculpted by Peter Scheemaker and John Cheere produced the lead cast with the finished statue unveiled in 1769.
For more information about the Town Hall sculpture.