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Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in Warwickshire, England, on the River Avon, 101mi north west of London, 22mi south east of Birmingham, and 8mi south west of Warwick. The estimated population in 2007 was 25,505, increasing to 27,445 at the 2011 Census.Stratford was originally inhabited by Anglo-Saxons and remained a village before the lord of the manor, John of Coutances, set out plans to develop it into a town in 1196. In that same year, Stratford was granted a charter from King Richard I to hold a weekly market in the town, giving it its status as a market town. As a result, Stratford experienced an increase in trade and commerce as well as urban expansion.The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, and receives approximately 2.5 million visitors a year. The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre.HistoryOrigin of nameThe name is a combination of the Old English strǣt, meaning 'street', ford, indicating a shallow part of a river or stream, allowing it to be crossed by walking or driving and avon which is the Celtic word for river. The 'street' was a Roman road which connected Icknield Street in Alcester to the Fosse Way. The ford, which has been used as a crossing since Roman times, later became the location of Clopton Bridge. A survey of 1251-52 uses the name Stratford for the first time to identify Old Stratford and the newer manors. The name was used after that time to describe the area specifically surrounding the Holy Trinity Church and the street of Old Town.Add Stratford-upon-Avon and other United Kingdom destinations to your travel plans using our United Kingdom journey maker site.
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