"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on August 8, 2018 by Sioux under General
2 Comments

 

It was raining when I awoke, so I had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out, suitably attired. A fairly long walk to my destination; but pleasant in the cool air once the rain stopped. 

The beautiful 500 year old cottage set in idyllic surrounds, is a 12-roomed farmhouse where  Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child; and where Shakespeare courted his bride-to-be.  

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The lower parts were built in 1463 and would have comprised of just three rooms. The kitchen and parlour still remain from the original medieval construction, with an upper floor bring added in the 17th century. 

Known as Hewlands Farm in Shakespeare’s day the property had more than 90 acres of land attached so the term ‘cottage’ is not a very apt description. There are lovely walks through the forest surrounding the house and a number of willow sculptures in the gardens.

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As with many houses of the time, it was built with multiple chimneys in

order to spread the heat evenly throughout the house during winter; the

largest chimney being above the kitchen and used for the cooking area. Badly damaged by fire in 1969, the cottage was restored by the Shakespeare Trust, and is now a public museum. 

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Some of the furnishings in the house are originals, including a bed dating back to the 1500’s and in its completely original state. Anne’s parents owned two beds, a sign of their wealthy status. One was for the parents and one shared by Anne and her brother. 

The term “Hit the sack” (meaning going to bed) probably originated from around these times. 

 

Mattresses were made up of cloth covered sacks stuffed with hay, and had to be beaten with a mattress beater to soften them.

Leaving the Hathaway cottage, I followed a pathway alongside a small stream and up a hillside where sheep were grazing in the farm pastures. 

Making my way through the residential area, I headed to the Stratford-upon-Avon cemetery, where there are a number of WWII graves, and a small American style graveyard for American soldiers that perished in the region during both World Wars; as well as graves for both German and Italian prisoners-of-war. There is also a large memorial dedicated to the Airforce Bomber Training Unit and the men who lost their lives during training. 

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I walked through the town; stopped

for a break in Bancroft Gardens,

watching a youngster playing with bubbles before heading to the nearby butterfly farm.

Being able to walk in among hundreds of the world’s most spectacular and colourful butterflies flying round inside the largest tropical butterfly display in the UK, was indeed a unique pleasure. 

There are 2 resident green Iguanas from South America, which were donated to the Butterfly Farm.

They hide up in the trees and bask in the warmth on top of the heaters while keeping a watchful eye on the goings on below! 

I strolled back through the town, had some dinner and headed to the B&B. My feet were screaming for mercy! 

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There are around 250 different species of tropical butterfly from 20 different countries inside the greenhouse; and approximately 1,500 free flying individual butterflies. The imported butterflies are all purchased from Butterfly breeders, where breeding is the main source of income for most of the villagers. These operations were set up to enable communities to earn a living without causing damage to the environment and wildlife in the area. 

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The Atlas moth, found in the

tropical forests of Southeast Asia,

is one of the largest moths in the

world. The unique pattern on the

wingtips closely resembles the

head of a snake. If the moth feels

threatened, it sits in the undergrowth and quivers its wings, in the hopes of fooling any potential predators. 

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All the birds in the farm are non-insect eaters, so the butterflies are safe! 

There is a Mini-Beast Metropolis with a number of insects and some of the world’s largest tarantula spiders. 

 

2 responses to “We know what we are, but know not what we may be – Stratford upon Avon #3”

  1. Cheryl Wilkinson says:

    Oh Wow!

    I love butterflies such lovely pics!
    Interesting info on the Hathaway place of abode. Thank you for sharing this with us :o)

  2. Charles Twigger says:

    Excellent and unusual photographs – my only quibble would be it is a small market town – not a city!

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