Shakespeare's Stratford on the Web
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Medieval Stratford - The Clopton Story
As well as celebrating Stratford-upon-Avon's 800th Anniversary, 1996 sees the 500th commemoration of the death of Sir Hugh Clopton who died on 15 September 1496.
Hugh, a bachelor all his life, made his fortune as a London mercer and gave generously of his property both here in Stratford, and in London (where he was Lord Mayor in 1492), Aylesbury and elsewhere.
He replaced the rickety and hazardous wooden bridge across the River Avon with the stone "Great Bridge" comprising "14 great archis of stone and long cawsey" which still bears his name.
He enlarged and restored Holy Trinity Church and the Guild Chapel
Paved local roads (so very necessary to sustain the trading heart of the town)
Initiated welfare schemes for local apprentices and girls
Hugh Clopton also built New Place at Stratford-upon-Avon - which in the fullness of time was bought by one William Shakespeare as a retirement home. His fine and modest memorial in the Guild Chapel is well worth studying.