Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon (must see)

"A Mecca for all lovers of literature." That must be true, judging by all the "lovers of literature" signatures etched into the windows of the house on Henley Street. Years after William Shakespeare left the planet, his admirers came to say hello.

Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle, Lord Byron, Lord Tennyson, John Keats and last but not least, William Thackeray left their names. Here lived the Master of the English Language. What was it like, the house he grew up in? Was it rich, poor, middle class?

It is a very simple house today, but in Shakespeare's time it would have been thought a large dwelling. People were shorter, doors were lower, rooms were smaller. The house was effectively divided in two parts. One was for business and the other for living. Shakespeare's father, John, was a glove maker and a dealer in leather and wool.

It is a restored 16th century half-timbered house in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. It is a museum now, but in 1564 it was where William Shakespeare was born. The house was constructed of wattle and daub around a timber frame. The fireplaces are of brick and stone and the ground floor is of flagstone.

William Shakespeare inherited the house but by then he had moved with his family to New Place on Chapel Street. Eventually the Henley Street house passed to other owners and by the 1800s it had fallen into a distressed state. In 1846 it was put up for sale. P.T. Barnum of circus fame tried to buy it and ship it "brick by brick" to the USA.

Not having any of that, the Shakespeare Birthplace Committee became the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust by an act of Parliament and stepped in to save the day. The Trust bought the property and restored it to its original state.

Next to the Birthplace is the Shakespeare Centre, a modern building which houses the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The Centre contains a library, and a collection of Shakespeare paraphernalia. The Centre also provides admission to the Birthplace.

Why you should visit
William Shakespeare is the heart of this town.

Tips
Don't worry about driving, parking, etc. There is a tram (good one) and most places to be seen are within walking distance of each other.

Opening hours: daily 9am - 5pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Stratford-upon-Avon. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Shakespeare's Birthplace on Map

Sight Name: Shakespeare's Birthplace
Sight Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, England (See walking tours in Stratford-upon-Avon)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Stratford-upon-Avon, England

Create Your Own Walk in Stratford-upon-Avon

Create Your Own Walk in Stratford-upon-Avon

Creating your own self-guided walk in Stratford-upon-Avon is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Tudor Houses Walking Tour

Historical Tudor Houses Walking Tour

The first thing that strikes one walking across the medieval center of Stratford-Upon-Avon is the abundance of timber-framed Tudor houses. Their most notable feature, often combined with an overhanging upper story, is an exposed wooden framework; the rest is typically filled with brick, plaster or wattle-and-daub.

Many of these buildings have been kept in their original state, notably the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Stratford-upon-Avon Introduction Walking Tour

Stratford-upon-Avon Introduction Walking Tour

"Strat" is an Old English term derived from the Latin "Stratum", the word for street. A "ford" is a section of a stream where a crossing may be made. "Avon" is Celtic for river. Put them all together with links like a sausage and you have Stratford-upon-Avon. The ford actually exists. It is now marked by Clopton Bridge.

Primal Stratford was established by...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
William Shakespeare Walking Tour

William Shakespeare Walking Tour

The picturesque town of Stratford-upon-Avon is steeped in the history of William Shakespeare. Indeed, Shakespeare's hometown is where he was born and also where he passed away on the same day (23 April) 52 years later.

Many period locations in town, related to his and his family's life, are preserved as Britain's national heritage and visited by millions of people every year in a...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles