The Historic Spine - Stratford-upon-Avon
Until around 1200 Stratford was a village, its houses clustered round the parish church. Then, in 1196, the lord of the manor laid out a grid of streets on adjacent land to establish a new town. This explains the separation of the church from today’s town centre. From the earliest days of this new town, the principal access to and from the church was by way of High Street and its continuation (Chapel Street, Church Street and Old Town). Along this route – the Historic Spine – are to be found the finest of Stratford’s buildings. Extended at the ‘town end’, it takes in Henley Street, an old route incorporated into the ‘new town’, and has been described as one of the most important literary walks in Britain.