New Place sketched by George Vertue when he visited Stratford-upon-Avon in 1737.
|Managed by||Shakespeare Birthplace Trust|
|Museum||yes (adjacent in Nash's House)|
|Shop||Yes (in Nash's House)|
New Place (grid reference SP201548) is the name of William Shakespeare's final place of residence in Stratford-upon-Avon. He died there in 1616. Though the house no longer exists, the land is owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
The house stood on the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane and was apparently the second-biggest dwelling in the town. It was built in 1483 by Hugh Clopton, a wealthy merchant and future Lord Mayor of the City of London. Built of timber and brick (then an innovation in Stratford) it had ten fireplaces, five handsome gables and grounds large enough to incorporate two barns and an orchard.
Shakespeare bought the house in 1597, nine months after the death of his son Hamnet, for sixty English pounds. Shakespeare was associated with London for much of his life, and tradition states that he retired to Stratford in his later years, though he still visited London as late as 1614. He bought the house in 1597 but didn't move into it until 1610.
After Shakespeare's death
In 1616 the house passed to his daughter Susanna Hall, and then his granddaughter, Elizabeth Hall, who had recently remarried after the death of her first husband, Thomas Nash, who had owned the house next door. After Elizabeth died, the house was returned to the Clopton family, who had built the house.
In 1702 John Clopton radically altered, or rebuilt, the original New Place - contemporary illustrations suggest the latter. In 1756 then-owner Reverend Francis Gastrell, having become tired of visitors, attacked and destroyed a mulberry tree in the garden said to have been planted by Shakespeare. In retaliation, the townsfolk destroyed New Place's windows. Gastrell applied for local permission to extend the garden. His application was rejected and his tax was increased, so Gastrell retaliated by demolishing the house in 1759. This greatly outraged the inhabitants and Gastrell was eventually forced to leave town.
Excavations in the grounds of Nash's House were carried out during 2010, 2011 and 2012 by Birmingham Archaeology. Archaeologists from Time Team visited the dig during 2011 and a special programme on the subject, "Searching for Shakespeare's House", was transmitted on 11 March 2012. BBC One National Treasures broadcast a live programme from the site in August 2011. Findings from the excavation indicated the presence of a Tudor structure but were inconclusive as to the ground plan of Shakespeare's original house.
- Bryson, Bill (2008). Shakespeare: The World as a Stage. London: Harper Perennial. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-00-719790-3.
- British Archaeology The Voice of Archaeology in Britain and Beyond. Issue 113 July/Aug 2010
- "Digging deeper for Shakespeare", Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website
- Unofficial Time Team website
- "BBC One National Treasures Live on location at the Dig for Shakespeare tonight", Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to New Place.|
- New Place - Official Website
- The Stratford Guide For more info on the attractions of Stratford-Upon-Avon