Anne Hathaway's Cottage
Relive Shakespeare’s love story
Visit Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the beautiful 500 year old cottage where Shakespeare courted his bride-to-be. See original furniture including the Hathaway bed and uncover five centuries of stories in this picturesque cottage and 13 generations of the family who lived there. Continue reading...
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage was originally a farmhouse. It was built in 1463 of cruck construction, when the building would have comprised of just three rooms. The kitchen and parlour still remain from the original medieval construction. The first Hathaway to live in the cottage was Anne’s grandfather John Hathaway, who was a tenant sheep farmer. Anne, later Shakespeare’s wife was born in the cottage in 1556.
When the site was a farm it was known as ‘Hewlands’ and the Hathaway family were very successful sheep farmers. The garden would have been a farmyard with some livestock and likely a herb garden.
After the death of Anne’s father in 1581, Anne’s brother Bartholomew inherited the tenancy of the 90-acre farm and later bought it freehold. He went on to make various improvements to the cottage including an extension. The first floor was inserted and the chimneys added at the same time. This work was completed before the death of Bartholomew in 1624.
By the late 1800s the family’s fortunes were on the wane, some property including land and houses were mortgaged and eventually sold. In 1838 the cottage itself was sold and the remaining Hathaway family continued to live in the cottage as tenants.
One of the last Hathaways to live in the cottage was Mary Baker. When the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust purchased the cottage in 1892 from the then landlord, Mary and her family were paid the large wage of £75 per year. Their duties were to share family stories and to care for the cottage, both of which we continue to do today. Her son William Baker still occupied part of the cottage until he left in 1911.
See works inspired by Shakespeare as you explore the grounds
Beautiful Cottage Gardens
Wander through nine acres of beautiful woodland, orchards & gardens
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage Cafe
Relax and grab a bite in our cafe, with stunning views of the Cottage
Hear a sonnet in the arbour and look out for our giant willow sculptures
Family Activity Marquee
Sweet Pea Trail
Enjoy a riot of scent and colour when our sweet peas are in bloom
Visit time: 2 hours
Linger over nine acres of this romantic settingBook Online