St Helens, the parish church
Clifford Chambers shown within Warwickshire
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Clifford Chambers is a village two miles south of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, on the B4632 and one mile south of the A3400. It consists of some 150 houses and the population of the parish in the 2001 census was 418. Until 2004 the village was in its own parish but it is now part of the parish of Clifford Chambers and Milcote. The village was in Gloucestershire until 1931. The River Stour runs along the north-eastern edge of the village.
The village claims to be the real birthplace of William Shakespeare as the bubonic plague was rife in Stratford-upon-Avon at the time of the bard's birth and during times of plague Clifford Chambers rectory was used as a refuge.
It is known that the moated manor house was visited in the 16th century by several well-known poets of the time such as Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson and Shakespeare. This was because the father of the lady of the house was a patron to young poets at the time. Many of the houses were still owned by the occupants of the manor house right up until after the Second World War. It was the lady of the manor who 'switched on' the village's electricity supply when it was connected to the national grid in 1933.
During the Second World War children from the Roman Catholic school in Edgbaston, Birmingham lived in the village due to emergency evacuation from the bombed city. Shortly after the war deep-texture furnishing fabric from Clifford Chambers mill was developed. This was later used in the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral and on the QE2 ocean liner.
The village today
Since 1996 the village has been the headquarters of the Hosking Houses Trust, a charity for female writers. The Shire Horse centre, one mile from the village, closed soon after the 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis and is now a business park. Another local business is Stratford Garden Centre, lying just half a mile outside the village. The village also has one pub (The New Inn Hotel and Restaurant) and a social club. The Shakespearean and Hollywood actor Sir Ben Kingsley is a former resident of the village.
- "Welcome to The Hosking Houses Trust". Retrieved 2010-11-28.
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- 'Parishes: Clifford Chambers', A History of the County of Gloucester: volume 6 (1965), pp. 207-216.
- Clifford Chambers
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