We began with a walk through the town. Following a map that guided us from building to building, we learned a lot of history of the town.
For example, this is the oldest street (well by today's standards its more of an alleyway) in town. Note the uneven stones and narrow width of the street.
We saw buildings dating back to the. 1200's and before. Note the slope/lean of this half-timbered building.
Louise and I admired the buildings with the old wavy glass. It was also interesting to peer inside.
Thetwonphotos above are King Edward VI school. It is thought, but not confirmed, that Shakespeare attended school here. It is still a grammar school today. The school still uses the older buildings, but has also built new / newer ones as well.
The photos above are of the actual house that Shakespeare was born in. The house is not exactly as it was when he was a child here. Some of the changes that have taken place:
- When Shakespeare was an adult, more rooms were added on the house so that it could potentially be used as an inn. However, it never was, after his parents' deaths, he inherited the house and didn't want much to do with it.
- Windows during Shakespeare's time were expensive and small. If the house had windows, they most likely did not contain glass. People who could afford glass for their windows, would take it with them when they moved. To the best of the knowledge of the historical society that oversees the house, the larger windows, with glass, we're added during the Victorian era.
- When he lived in the house, there were houses attached to either side of it, as is customary of the times. All of these houses were a fire hazard (houses made of wood, with cement of mud and straw, walls covered with painted linen and plenty of flammable materials within. For that reason, when the house was being preserved, the houses on either side were torn down, to minimize the chance that his house would catch fire.
- It is not known exactly what the garden was like during the time he lived there, so the garden that one can visit today, is planted with plants and flowers mentioned in his works. It is a beautiful garden.
I learned some interesting facts about Shakespeare on my tour. He was not the first born, but he was the oldest of 7 children to survive. He was married at age 18 because he impregnated Anne Hathaway. His family was fairly well-to-do, and owned a lot of land - the land came from his Mother when she married his father.
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Location:Stratford Upon Avon, England