Shakespeare villages



  • A group of villages near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, made famous by a rhyme improbably attributed to Shakespeare:
    Piping Pebworth, dancing Marston,
    Haunted Hillbro', hungry Grafton,
    Dudging Exhall, papist Wicksford,
    Beggarly Broom and drunken Bidford.

    The verse is supposed to have been written after Shakespeare and some friends accepted a drinking challenge from the men of Bidford-on-Avon. Shakespeare and his companions lost the contest and had to sleep off the effects before returning to Stratford the next day. According to another legend, it was alcohol that precipitated Shakespeare's death: having fallen down some steps after a drinking bout with Ben Jonson and other literary friends, he contracted the fever from which he died.