My boyfriend and I took a detour past Anne Hathaway’s Cottage on the way home from a family event today. Run by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, it’s the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife and young William would have gone there when he went a wooing.
If you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth a visit. Your ticket allows you entry to the house and gardens for the year, and if you lived locally then it would be worth going back frequently for the gardens alone, we arrived in the middle of the Sweet Pea Festival, which was beautiful but they have seasonal events throughout the year. There’s currently an exhibition of the language of flowers which talks about how Shakespeare used the hidden meaning of flowers in the play, though this seemed to be very much aimed at a school age audience (eg. when they talked about Ophelia handing out flowers to King Claudius’ court they didn’t mention that the rue Ophelia keeps for herself may be as an abortifacient as she is pregnant with Hamlet’s child).
I was especially excited to see the bed which may or may not be the second best bed that Shakespeare left to his wife in his will (as re-imagined in one of my favourite poems by Carol Ann Duffy) though apparently the teasel heads are used to discourage visitors from sitting on the bed rather than for any symbolic meaning, as related in this amusing video.
How charming is that! I love the photographs — thanks for sharing. I once saw Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Globe Theatre and thought that was the coolest thing. I’d love to see how Shakespeare lived.
Thanks! His mother’s old farm is being run as a working Tudor farm so you can get a really good idea of how their daily life went. That’s on my to do list.
A working Tudor farm!! Omg, teleport me there now.
It took me a while to determine that this was not actress Ann Hathaway’s residence, nor a house that she owned for some reason 😦 Looks lovely!
Oh dear! Her performance in Les Mis was compelling but I’ve not taken to stalking her just yet 🙂