The Bancroft Gardens, located on the bank of the River Avon and in front of the world famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre, attract over a million visitors every year.
The Bancroft was originally an area of land where the townspeople grazed their animals, and the Canal Basin formed the terminus of the Stratford-to-Birmingham canal, completed in 1816. The Gardens also occupy the site of former canal wharves, warehouses, and a second canal basin, which was built in 1826 and refilled in 1902.
The statue of Shakespeare is the work of Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, and was presented to the town in 1888. The smaller figures of Shakespearean characters are of Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Falstaff and Prince Hal; symbolising philosophy, tragedy, comedy and history.
The Country Artists Fountain was made for the 800th anniversary celebration of the granting of the Charter for Market Rights by King Richard I (the Lionheart) in 1196. The fountain was sculpted by Christine Lee and is made of stainless steel and brass. It was unveiled by the Queen in 1996.