[Union-Jack]
William Shakespeare's Birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon England
[Union-Jack]

 

 

 

 

 

 



WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S BIRTHPLACE




Shakespeare's Birthplace is actually two houses in Henley Street. It is a timber-framed building with an aperture in one of the frames revealing the usual infilling, wattle and daub.

 

Shakespeare's Birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare's Birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon
(click the image for a larger size picture)

 

It has been heavily restored. The first stage in the conservation of the building was paradoxically the destruction of the houses adjacent to it. This was thought necessary to avoid the risk of any fire spreading from them to the Birthplace. Part of the building had become a public house, the Swan and Maidenhead.

In the 18th century houses in England were being rebuilt in brick and timber-framed buildings replaced. An economic alternative was simply to face the front with brick and it would seem, from old photographs, that this is what happened to part of the Birthplace early in the 19th century. To restore it to its 16th century state the Trust based itself on an engraving of 1769.

The outside of the building is mainly a Victorian reconstruction carried out between the years 1857 and 1864. The inside is much earlier but no precise date of construction has been suggested. There are divergent views about the origin. Some have maintained that it dates back to the 15th century but a more probable period is the mid-sixteenth century. More recent authorities have even suggested that it was built after the birth of William Shakespeare, after the fire of 1594.

 

Shakespeare's Birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare's Birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon
(click the image for a larger size picture)

 

Architecturally the building has nothing outstanding to commend itself. Its real value is limited to its associations with the Shakespeare family.

The western part of the building, on the ground-floor level, consists of a parlour and kitchen with large fireplaces and stone-flagged floors. Access to the first floor and the bedchamber where William is thought to have been born is by the original staircase.

The house is furnished with period furniture but it is hard to believe that there is any of the original furniture left.

RJW

 


Stratford-upon-Avon Index

 


Accommodation in Stratford-upon-Avon Hotels, Guest Houses, Bed & Breakfast

 


Know Britain Home Page
General Index

 


Do you like this site? Tell a friend!

Name Email
You:
Friend:

[ Get your own FREE referral system! ]




latest update: 28/3/04