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Stratford-upon-Avon is a quiet English market town famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare It is one of the oldest towns in England It lies in the green valley of the River Avon High-peaked Old English-style houses line its narrow streets It is the largest town in the district of Stratford-upon-Avon which has a population of 105800 The Stratford-upon-Avon district Warwickshire Central England is about 90 miles northwest of London The towns industries include textile production A weekly market has been held there since 1196 The birthplace of William Shakespeare Stratford-upon-Avon derives most of its income from tourism Visitors see Shakespeares birthplace the site of his retirement home his tomb and the houses once occupied by his daughter and wife Anne Hathaway Other notable landmarks are a 15th-century bridge the Royal Shakespeare Theatre rebuilt in 1932 the Swan Theatre opened 1986 and several museums Annual Shakespearean festivals have taken place there since 1879 The town has wide pleasant streets and numerous half-timbered Tudor houses including the one on Henley Street in which Shakespeare was born Nearby at Shottery is the cottage of his wife On the river is the Shakespeare Center which includes a library and art gallery and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre where his plays are performed during an annual festival that originated in 1769 The playwrights grave is in the 12th-century Church of the Holy Trinity The house where Shakespeare probably was born has been kept as a memorial It is always open to visitors At Shottery 1 mile west of Stratford is the thatch-roofed cottage that was the home of Anne Hathaway Shakespeares wife The Guild Hall and grammar school are kept as they were in Shakespeares day Visitors also go to Wilmcote 212 miles northwest of Stratford to see the cottage of Mary Arden Shakespeares mother In 1879 a Shakespeare Memorial was completed on the riverbank above the church It includes a theater a museum and a library
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