Shakespeare's Birthplace

John Shakespeare – William’s father – lived and worked in the house known today as Shakespeare’s Birthplace. John married Mary Arden in about 1557 and William was born in 1564, the third of their eight children.

In 1568 John became the Mayor of Stratford, which was the highest elective office in the town. It was because of his father’s status as Mayor that William was privileged enough to have attended the local grammar school to begin his education.

In 1582, at the age of 18, William married Anne Hathaway. The young couple continued to live with his parents in the Birthplace. It is where their own children, Susanna, Judith and Hamnet were born.

John Shakespeare died in 1601 and being the eldest surviving son, William inherited the house. William leased the small, two-room cottage adjoining the main house to his sister, Joan Hart. The remainder of the family home was also leased and became an inn, called the Maidenhead. It was later renamed the Swan and Maidenhead Inn, which remain in operation until 1847. When Shakespeare died in 1616 he left the property to his elder daughter Susanna, and when she died she left it to her only child, Elizabeth.

Although she married twice, Elizabeth had no children. When she died in 1670 the house passed to a descendant of Joan Hart. The Hart family owned the property until 1806 when it was sold to Thomas Court, a butcher. The whole property was put up for sale in 1846, following the death of Court’s widow.

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare's Birthplace

11 Comments CherryPie on Jan 7th 2023

11 Responses to “Shakespeare’s Birthplace”

  1. Hels says:

    It was great to see photos of William Shakespeare’s birthhouse, especially photos of the interior spaces. I had a good tour around Stratford and recorded the Guildhall, theatre school room, the Trail and Church. Most interesting was New Place/Nash’s House Museum, a grade I-listed museum that focuses on local history.

    But I wrote almost nothing on the house. Just as well. I didn’t remember the cottage adjoining the main house that went to William’s sister, Joan Hart, nor did I remember that the Hart line inherited the property.
    Thank you for the link

    • CherryPie says:

      We weren’t able to visit the New Place as it was closed for the season. We hope to return this year so perhaps we will be able to visit then. We didn’t visit the school room either even though we went into the shop to purchase the Guild Chapel guidebooks.

      Thanks for the link to your blog entry :-)

  2. Lovely photos. It looks so much quieter too than when we went. Then it was heaving with people. Stratford has so many interesting places to visit :)

  3. lisl says:

    What a wonderful survival this is, and what a fine family home it must always have been

  4. Shabana says:

    Wow what fascinating story dear Cheri!
    I so enjoyed learning about one of the favourites writer and where he was born and raised.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Images are awesome too

  5. It was jam-packed with tourists while I was there.