William William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. His works include some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, three long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until 1608, among them Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, all considered to be among the finest works in the English language. In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies (also known as romances).
Shakespeare's Birthplace, walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps and explore the house where he was born and grew up. Hear tales of Shakespeare’s family life, enjoy live theatre on demand and get up close to rare artefacts from the Trust’s world class collections as you discover how the extraordinary William Shakespeare continues to shape our lives today.
Anne Hathaway's Cottage & Gardens
A fifteenth-century thatched cottage was the childhood home of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's sweet-heart and wife. Experienced guides share tales about the Hathaway family who lived here from the mid-1500s to the early 1900s. There are nine acres of gardens and grounds to explore including a woodland walk, the Shakespeare arboretum and a living willow cabin where you may listen to some of Shakespeare's sonnets.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Performing Shakespeare’s plays, as well as works by Shakespeare’s contemporaries and plays by today’s writers.
Mary Arden's Farm
The Farm was the childhood home of Shakespeare's mother. Today it is open as a working Tudor farm, experience all the sights, sounds and smells. There are daily falconry displays and archery at weekends and in school holidays. Mary Arden's Farm is a working farm that keeps pace with the season so there is always something new to see and do. The Farm is open seasonally from Easter to the end of October half-term.
Shakespeare's Schoolroom & Guildhall
Discover where William Shakespeare was educated and inspired to become the world's greatest playwright. Take part in a Tudor lesson with Master Thomas Jenkins and brush up on your Latin. Learn how he spent his early school days and first experienced theatre.
Shakespeare’s grave is famous for having a curse as an epitaph on its’ gravestone which Shakespeare himself wrote. The curse on Shakespeare’s grave warns:-
Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
Relic hunting was popular in Shakespeare’s day, and Shakespeare was aware his status as a leading writer may have meant his bones would be dug up by one of the hunters.
Shakespeare's New Place
New Place was Shakespeare's family home from 1597 until he died in the house in 1616. Tragically, the house was demolished in 1759. A registered garden now stands in its place, designed to commemorate the importance of the site and allow visitors to make their own personal connection with Shakespeare. However you can follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps through a new entrance on the site of the original gatehouse and enjoy a contemporary landscape that reveals the footprint of the Shakespeare family home. The re-imagined site gives an impression of the scale of New Place and relationship to the surrounding buildings; such as the neighbouring King Edward VI School and Guild Chapel that were once attended by a young Shakespeare.