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The Clopton Bridge, Stratford-upon-Avon

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The Clopton Bridge, Stratford-upon-Avon

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The Clopton Bridge, Stratford-upon-Avon

The 14-arch bridge in Stratford – the name means "the street at the ford on the river" – was built around 1490, financed by Hugh Clopton, merchant and Lord Mayor of London. In 1483, Clopton also built the house known as New Place, in Chapel Street, Shakespeare’s final residence, which he bought in 1597 and lived in from 1610 until his death in 1616. At that time, it was the second largest house in Stratford and the only one made of brick.

Unlike his bridge, Clopton’s second most famous construction has not survived: in 1759, the then owner, Reverend Francis Gastrell, tired of the constant attention the house received from sightseers, razed it to the ground. Today, only its foundations remain.

On the south side of Clopton Bridge is Alveston Manor, now a top-drawer hotel. The original house was mentioned in the Domesday Book and is said to be where A Midsummer Night’s Dream was first performed, under its cedar tree.

Photo: Peter Morris

NOMINATION 591 OF 1170

Your comments

This ancient bridge crossing the river Avon into Stratford was built by Sir Richard Clopton, Lord Mayor of London, in the 1200s to replace a ford, where it has stood all these centuries. Like William Shakespeare, he rambled to London from Stratford, made his fortune and returned to his native Warwickshire town to buy land and be a generous local benefactor. Wonderful to think of how many pass over the bridge every year and done so since it was built!

edward walpole-brown 111


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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer

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