Places to Go smaller logo Holy Trinity Church - Stratford
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View on the South Transept The Shakespeare Memorial in the Chancel The River Avon
Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon is famous for its associations with the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare who is buried in this church, and visitors can view not only his grave, but the parish registers that recorded his birth and his death.

Apart from its association with Shakespeare the church is well worth a visit, containing as it does architectural features that date back to the early 13th century. One of its most fascinating features are the 26 misericords in the choir stalls. These misericords, or 'mercy seats' are fancifully decorated with carvings of mermaids and mermen, unicorns, and scenes of daily life. Clergy were not supposed to sit down for the duration of long services, however, a compromise was found and they added a small carved shelf to the underside of the choir stall known as a misericord.

Misericord or Mercy SeatHoly Trinity is one of the most heavily visited parish churches in the UK. It is situated in a perfect location on the banks of the beautiful River Avon, a short walk from most of the major Shakespeare sites in the town centre.

A Saxon church existed in Stratford as early as the 9th century, but of this early wooden building there is no trace remaining. The Norman's replaced the Saxon building with a stone structure, and this itself was rebuilt in 1210. It is this building that forms the core of the Holy Trinity we can visit today. An avenue of lime trees said to represent the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles leads to the church.

The original 13th century church was narrower and much shorter than the present building. The Guild of the Holy Cross provided funds to lengthen the nave and add north and south aisles. The interior features The Clopton Chapel. This ornate chapel is named after Sir Hugh Clopton (1440-1496), a native of Stratford who rose to become Lord Mayor of London (1491-2). Clopton never forgot his roots, and provided funds to pay for Clopton Bridge, which still bears traffic over the Avon in the centre of Stratford. He also built New Place, which later became William Shakespeare's retirement home.
William Shakespeare's Grave The Chancel The twisted tree on the S/W corner of the Church.