Just one mile west of Stratford Upon Avon, is the childhood home of Anne Hathaway, who later was to become Mrs. William Shakespeare. Formally known as Hewlands Farm, this 12 room house (not what we would typically know as a "cottage") sits on 90 acres of beautiful gardens and nature trails. The original part of the house (just two rooms) was constructed in 1463, with extensions being added up through the 17th century. Anne was born in this home in 1556. Shakespeare grew up just a mile away across the fields, and would often walk here during his courting of Anne. The Hathaway family owned this farm for 13 generations, until financial problems forced them to sell in 1846. However, they continued to live on the farm as tenants until 1892. This is a beautiful place! Anne Hathaway's Cottage can be visited as part of a five property William Shakespeare package ( the cheapest way to see them all).
The thatched roofed Hewlands farm house, now known as Anne Hathaway's Cottage.
It is quite picturesque and beautiful...
...of course, we just HAD to have our picture taken this way.
This is one of the two original rooms of the farm...
...and today is used to display some of the Hathaway's china. The stairway area beyond the door was a later addition.
As can be seen, this huge fireplace served multiple purposes; cooking food, baking bread, and heating the house. The Hathaways would eat their meals around the table in the foreground.
The baking oven could also be used to keep food warm until served.
The Master Bedroom. Notice the chair in the foreground. This is Shakespeare's "settle chair"( or courting chair). If you look closely at the chair's backing, you may be able to make out Shakespeare's Coat of Arms carved into it.
The four-poster beds were specifically developed for thatch roofed houses because animals could easily get under the thatching and drop down onto those below. The four posts were added to the beds so that sheets could be draped over the top to protect sleepers from the animals. Later on, the sheets were replaced with more decorative materials.
While today, these sculptured gardens in front of the house create a beautiful picture, during the time the Hathaways lived here, they more likely were grassy areas for sheep to graze.
What a beautiful scene!
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.