The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was formed in 1847 when Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon went up for auction. The money was raised in order to preserve the tutor house in Henley Street as a national memorial to the world’s greatest dramatist and poet.
Houses of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust now cares for a total of five Shakespeare-related houses as follows:
- Shakespeare’s Birthplace – a large house in Stratford-upon-Avon originally bought by John Shakespeare, William’s father. The house was inherited by William upon his father’s death in 1601.
- Nash’s House and New Place – the site of Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon home for the last 18 years of his life.
- Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – the family home of Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway. This romantic cottage is situated in the village of Shottery, about a mile from Stratford-upon-Avon.
- Mary Arden’s House – the family home of Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, before she married John Shakespeare in 1557. The house and surrounding farm is located three miles north of Stratford-upon-Avon in the village of Wilmcote.
- Hall’s Croft – home to Susanna, Shakespeare’s eldest daughter and her physician husband, John Hall.
Our interview with Dr. Diana Owen, director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, reveals the importance of maintaining and preserving these properties for the benefit of the nation.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Collection
The trust maintains one of the world’s most extensive Shakespeare collections. They hold a copy of the First Folio, the town’s historical records relating to Shakespeare and the entire archive of the Royal Shakespeare Company.