Before leaving Stratford I saw Shakespeare’s house of his birth. It is a plain, oblong, and rather large house. It looks quite English. Has the gray plaster between brown boards which are placed so as to form squares and triangles. The roof is thatched and the window panes are made up of smaller angular pains [sic]. The house is right in town. The church where he is buried is at the edge of town on the banks of the peaceful Avon and surrounded by a cemetery full of large trees. The church is a large one, having a tall spire and built in the shape of a cross. Within it has the tall arches along the sides with the smaller ones above. In the arms of the cross are chapels. As you face the altar, Shakespeare is buried just to the left. There is the large marble coffin with the image of Shakespeare in its lid, lying as in death. As in all of the old churches, the aisles consist of stones bearing the names of those buried under them.
Then I rode out, in the rain, to Anne Hathaway’s cottage, a mile from the church and just out of town. It is long and low, one end facing the street. Along the front side is a flower garden. The roof is thatched as was Shakespeare’s. The cottage looks very Swiss. Stratford contains many of these old thatched-roof houses. The place is very picturesque and reminds you of a resort town.
The rain stopped soon after leaving for London. After the first 25 miles the wind was a great help for a change. As I had a good breakfast, I ate no lunch. At Oxford I stopped to see the University. It is very large and each college has its own buildings and quadrangles. They are spread out all over the town. The buildings are old and mostly of Gothic style. The town of Oxford is a pretty place and collegiate in looks, or better,”air”.
As I neared London, it began to rain and I entered the city in a downpour. After riding for a long time I came to the Y and found Jack had left no address for me, so I got a room here for 3/6. Had a good dinner and took a little walk. Still seem to be a great curiosity on the streets. Rode 103 miles today—exactly 500 miles from Dunfermline. Averaged just 111 miles a day for the 4½ days.