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Shakespeare's previous neighbours: 13th-century foundations at New Place.

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 10

The earliest features identified in phase two of 2011 were storage pits and a truncated occupation layer, dated to the Later Iron Age (400-300 BC to AD 43). These prove occupation of Statford-upon-Avon in this period. They were extremely well preserved and there are no other recorded examples of Iron Age (or prehistoric) pits in […]

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Unearthing Shakespeare: an early overview of the site

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 9

Phase 2 of Dig for Shakespeare took place during 2011. That season saw continued public popularity and an increased media interest in the site with attendance by both BBC (National Treasures Live in September) and Channel 4 (Time Team, filmed in September and October, broadcast two weeks ago). Phase two taught us more about the […]

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The foundations of New Place

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 8

During the 2010 excavations, three trenches were excavated across the site. The first was excavated at the frontage and exposed the remains of the cellar and house foundations. These foundations dated primarily to the 18th century (1702). There were however foundations surviving from Shakespeare’s house, made up of local Wilmcote limestone. Other building materials recovered […]

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A gentleman archaeologist: James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, 1872

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 7

Today I strike the ground on the first day of the third and final phase of ‘Dig for Shakespeare’. It seemed timely to take stock and to reflect a little on something we learned during phase one… During the first season, back in 2010, we were able to re-expose the foundations identified by Halliwell-Phillipps and […]

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A Tudor-brick storage pit.

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 6

Towards the back of the New Place plot is a replica Tudor Knot Garden, this is located in the area thought to have been within the back plot (gardens) away from the main New Place structures. The Knot Garden was constructed by Earnst Law in 1919-20. During this time the original ground levels were reduced […]

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James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps's 1860s dig

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 5

Following the airing of Channel 4′s popular television programme, Time Team on Sunday evening, here is another episode from on the ground. Interest in the site and home of New Place continued unabated and in 1861, its gardens and barns was acquired by J.O Halliwell-Phillipps, an enthusiastic student of William Shakespeare’s history. He gave the […]

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New Place in 1759, just before demolition....

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 4

On Shakespeare’s death, New Place, like much of his estate, came into the possession of his elder daughter Susanna. Upon her death in 1649, Susanna bequeathed New Place to her daughter Elizabeth until she also passed away in 1670. This saw the end of the Shakespeare’s occupancy of New Place and in 1674 the ownership […]

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The extent of Shakespeare's ownership of New Place?

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 3

Shakespeare agreed to the purchase of New Place from William Underhill on the 4th May 1597. Shakespeare’s purchase included… ‘one messuage, two barns, and two gardens with appurtenances’. The concord recording the sale, notes state that ‘the same William Shakespeare gave the said William Underhill sixty pounds sterling’, but it is generally agreed that it […]

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Re-imagining New Place by Pat Hughes

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 2

New Place is best known as the home of William Shakespeare, however by the time of Shakespeare’s purchase in 1597, New Place had stood for over a hundred years. Around 1483, Sir Hugh Clopton, a wealthy merchant, important benefactor and future Lord Mayor of London (1491), acquired a burgage plot on the corner of Chapel […]

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