Bancroft Gardens, Stratford

Description of this historic site

Bancroft Gardens, a public park in which the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is located. The gardens were originally created during the Post Medieval period. They are situated in the centre of Stratford upon Avon.

Notes about this historic site

1 Area of open ground adjoining canal wharves and River Avon. Forms setting for Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Memorial, Charter Fountain, and Clopton Bridge. Simple treatment, trees and bedding. Recommended for inclusion as key site on Local List.
2 In the earlier part of the 19th century there were canal wharves here at the junction of the Stratford Canal with the River Avon. In 1874 two acres at the south end of the site was donated by Charles Flower for the erection of the first Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, which opened in 1879. The Bancroft was subsequently developed as public open space. Features include a tree lined walk, lawns and beds, and the surviving canal wharves. An important public space, in part because of its setting.
3 OS 1:10560 1886 Sht Warks 44NW shows initial developments at the south end of the Bancroft.
4 OS 1:10560 1938 Sht Warks 44NW shows layout after the filling in of the southern canal basin.
5 The landscaping associated with the creation of the existing gardens was recorded during observation in 2009. c300-350mm of topsoil had been imported.