Share this page

Living with History

A bridge between the historic and present day Stratford-upon-Avon

What is Stratford-upon-Avon like as a place to grow up and work?

At the time of the most recent census (in 2011) Stratford-upon-Avon had a population of 27,445 but it receives over 5 million visitors every year. It’s a town that’s continually looking at its past, celebrating its heritage and restoring its historic buildings. Living with History forms a bridge between the historic and present day Stratford-upon-Avon - what it looks like and what it’s like to grow up and work here.

William Mulryne was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1995 and received an HND from Stratford College. Mulryne is inspired by documentary photographers such as Don McCullin and Steve McCurry. He describes himself as an “observer of things” and the selection of photographs put forward a view of Stratford-upon-Avon that is fresh, dynamic, real and, at times, funny.

Living with History
60's Haircut

Mulryne’s photographs give an insight into what it’s like to grow up in Stratford-upon-Avon: 

It’s an amazing place with a special feeling. The town gets smaller every time you go out. I understand when people get angry at the various developments as it changes the feeling of the town with every one. If I were able to I’d love to go back in time and refuse to allow any changes (except planting flowers and trees) from Shakespeare’s time. I’d pedestrianise the whole town (except for horse-drawn carts) and have a troupe of actors walking around performing Shakespeare scenes. I would keep homes as homes.”

The World is Spinning
The World is Spinning

Several of Mulryne's works explore the relationship of the town to the waterways and how this relationship has changed over the centuries, still being well used to this day by rowers and tourists alike. Mulryne also captures how the town’s connection with theatre has changed and how contemporary performances take place at night and outside, bringing the perceived elite experience to the masses - as was the mission of David Garrick.

It’s an amazing place with a special feeling. The town gets smaller every time you go out.

— Will Mulryne

Mulryne’s exhibition is on show in the Hall’s Croft cafe, which was the home of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna and her husband John Hall.

This exhibition is curated by Josephine Reichert. Reichert is the founder and director of Ort Gallery, an artist-led exhibition space in Balsall Heath, Birmingham. Ort Gallery represents underrepresented artists and facilitates dialogue in the community making art accessible to everyone in the community. Josephine has curated the busy programme at Ort Gallery since 2012.

Getting organised?

Plan Your Visit

Snap up your tickets

Book now

Discover Shakespeare's family homes

Find out more

More events

See all events
This is where the story began Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a working Tudor Farm Relive Shakespeare’s love story Walk in Shakespeare's footsteps The home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna