Situated in the center of Stratford Upon Avon is the birthplace of the greatest English writer of all time, William Shakespeare. While documentation can't be found as to when this building was constructed, we do know that Shakespeare's family was living here in the early 1550's. In 1552, Shakespeare's father, John, who ran a glove making and wool dealership in the building, was fined by the town for leaving a pile of muck outside the home. Considered to be "...a substantial dwelling..."'in the mid-16th century, the ground floor was divided into John's workshop, with a connecting passageway to a parlor and a hall. The upper floor consisted of three rooms; the parents' bedroom, the boys' bedroom, and the girls' bedroom. Above this area was an attic with sleeping quarters for any apprentices and/or servants. William was already married and living a short distance away in "New Plac" when he inherited the building following his father's death. Not needing the building, William leased it. At that time, the building was converted into an inn, known as the Maidenhead. Being amateur history buffs, we found it fascinating walking through this building. Although, I think I would've had a hard time living in such cramped quarters.
Shakespeare's family home in the center of Stratford Upon Avon.
Artist's rendition of how the house was divided up.
The gardens at the rear of the house.
Shakespeare's father, John, was one of 22 glove makers in town. His workshop was on the ground floor and he would sell his gloves through the window that opened onto the street.
On the opposite side of the building from the workshop was the family parlor with this large fireplace...
...the family's most valuable piece of furniture, "The Best Bed", was on display in the parlor. While it was occasionally used for guests, this was more to show off the family's wealth.
Also on the ground floor was the "Hall" where the family would take its meals.
Above the parlor was the parents' bedroom, also known as "The Birth Room".
Once the children reached the age of five, they were considered old enough to sleep on their own, and would then move into either "The Boys' Bedroom"...
...or "The Girls'Bedroom" next door.
The attic area was utilized as sleeping quarters for any glove making apprentices or servants that the family might have.
Out in the back gardens, professional actors recite portions of Shakespeare's plays upon request.
9/1/2016 09:01:31 am
What lovely photos of Stratford and of The Shakespeare's houses!
Carl and Lorraine Aveni
9/1/2016 11:55:43 pm
Thank you, Annabelle, for your generous comments. We are indeed having a wonderful time. Currently in York, but within a week, we will be heading to Manchester. Stratford Upon Avon was such a lovely place and full of so much history. We loved it. I especially enjoyed talking French (my favorite language) with you.
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Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.