HISTORY buffs are being urged to take a stroll through Stratford’s past along the riverside.
Stratford Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT) has published a new Riverside Heritage Trail leaflet made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.
Although now a leafy tourist destination, the riverside was once a hive of commercial and industrial activity. The use of the river for commercial traffic and the development of the Stratford Canal and the Stratford to Moreton Tramway in the early 19th century saw numerous wharves and warehouses around the Bancroft.
The construction of the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1879 led to the gradual ‘improvement’ of the riverside area. But it was not until the opening of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1932 that all of the wharves and warehouses finally made way for the present day gardens.
The two mile circular trail includes familiar Shakespeare tourist stop-offs like the theatre and Holy Trinity Church, but also takes in a number of less well-known places like the Toll House, Lucy’s Mill and Avon Bank Gardens.
The trail has been written by historic buildings expert and heritage project manager Chris Rice on behalf of SHBT.
Kevin Bond, SHBT chair, said: “The trail is the final part of the Old Toll House project and we hope will enable visitors and locals alike to discover some of the hidden histories of the town.”
The free trail leaflet is available from the Tourist Information Centre.