Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Shakespearean Gardens

August 2017 - Stratford ON

This was part of our day trip to Stratford.

Shakespearean Gardens. Framed by a pergola, the Perth County Courthouse, and the oldest double-arch stone bridge in Ontario, this little jewel contains 60 varieties of herbs, flowers, and shrubs, all familiar to Shakespeare’s contemporaries, and mentioned in his plays. Wander through knots of blooms bordered by thrift and boxwood and along the stone walls among fragrant rose gardens, and then rest on iron benches in this sanctuary along the river bank.   

This garden has quite a history. The feature most visitors notice immediately is the 65-foot (20 meter) chimney, all that remains of the Dufton Woolen Mill that originally occupied the site. The mill was built in 1874 and burned in 1919, leaving only the chimney that still stands as an imposing landmark.

More than a decade after the mill fire, R. Thomas Orr, Stratford businessman and architect, introduced the idea of using the site for a garden honouring Shakespeare. Mr. Orr must have been very persuasive. This undated photo shows that the existing site was quite pleasant, with well-kept lawns, shrubbery, and a path for strolling along the river and a bridge to the small island.

The garden is somewhat lower than street level, so it is necessary to negotiate some stairs to reach the grounds.


  1. Beautiful shots- and a wonderful idea.

  2. Your photos are remarkable and really captured so much of the area.

  3. These photos are excellent. Would you allow me to use them on a wesite I am creating about Stratford sites. I would of course credit you. Paul

  4. Please send me an email with your details and we can discuss.


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