Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon is Shakespeare’s final resting place. Back in January, I reported that this beautiful building was only five years away from closure for health and safety reasons.
To date, the church has raised £750,000 to fund the urgently needed restoration work – but a new structural problem reared its head recently as workmen carried out repairs.
A rotten wooden beam supporting the chancel roof directly above Shakespeare’s grave has started to crumble and the church needs to raise an extra £50,000.
Last time I reported on this, I bemoaned the lack of financial support from public funds but have since learned that Shakespeare himself was responsible for financing repairs to Holy Trinity Church. He bought tithe land which gave him the right to be buried in the chancel, but on condition that the Shakespeare family finance repairs – and there is no record of Shakespeare ever spending a penny on the church.
As Shakespeare has no living decedents, it’s difficult to know where to send the debt collectors. Perhaps he has more than paid his due by attracting thousands of paying sightseers every year to view his final resting place.
Who do you think should finance the repairs to this important historical landmark? The church? The government? The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust? The tourist board?