Details of Shakespeare’s Stratford mansion emerge in archaeological dig
Previously undiscovered areas of Shakespeare’s home in Stratford have been revealed as part of an archaeological dig.
Findings in the house that the playwright lived in for almost two decades have been described as filling in “a missing piece in Shakespeare’s story”.
Archaeologists have uncovered the site of Shakespeare’s kitchen and have been able to establish the size of the house, called New Place.
The building was the largest single residence in the borough of Stratford-upon-Avon and was purchased by Shakespeare at the height of his career in 1597.
The dig at New Place is being undertaken by Staffordshire University’s Centre of Archaeology, with plans for the house to be opened to the public next year as “the most ambitious and permanent initiative to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death”.
The £5.25 million project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England, as well as a public campaign spearheaded by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
The organisation’s head of research and knowledge, Paul Edmondson, said the excavations had allowed a “much richer picture” of Shakespeare to emerge.
Julie Crawshaw, project manager of Shakespeare’s New Place, said: “We have unearthed some significant archaeology which is all part of the story of New Place and its history. This will be shared in our exciting retelling of New Place, where visitors will be able to discover Shakespeare on the very ground where his family home stood, imagined through specially commissioned, extraordinary art works, creative landscaping, and newly curated exhibitions, all shedding new light on the story of Shakespeare in Stratford.”
The site will be opened to the public in July 2016.
The news follows comments made by Shakespeare’s Globe artistic director Dominic Dromgool that suggested London’s connection to Shakespeare was stronger than that of Stratford, which he claimed had only a “spurious” connection to the playwright.