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Harvard House

Harvard House is now closed but is open to the public free of charge on 22 April

Harvard House opens to the public only on special event days and is next open on 22 April. Please check back for details. Wealthy merchant Thomas Rogers spared no expense when he built this striking Elizabethan town house, just up the road from Shakespeare’s New Place. His grandson, John Harvard, was a founding benefactor of Harvard University. Continue reading...

Once known as the Ancient House, the property was built by local businessman Thomas Rogers in 1596; the year before William Shakespeare bought New Place. Rogers also served as Alderman for the Stratford Corporation alongside John Shakespeare, William’s father. The elaborately carved front of the building is a clear statement of his wealth and social-standing.

In 1605, Thomas Rogers’ daughter Katherine married Robert Harvard of Southwark. Their son, John, was born two years later and would go on to move to Massachusetts, America with his wife Anne. When John Harvard died of tuberculosis in 1638, he bequeathed £750 to the fund for the founding of a new college – in excess of £3 million today – along with his library of 230 books.

In recognition of this generosity the town was renamed Cambridge, after the university John attended in England, and the new college would go on to bear his name. Harvard College remains one of the two schools within Harvard University and is the oldest institution of higher education in America.

In 1909, the Ancient House in Stratford-upon-Avon was purchased by Edward Morris of Chicago. After extensive restoration, it was given to Harvard University and became known as Harvard House. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been caring for the property on behalf of Harvard University since 1990.



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    Visitor information

    Visit time: 30 minutes

    Don't miss the opportunity to see this elegant Elizabethan gem

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    Getting here

    Nearby attractions

    5 minutes walk to Shakespeare's Birthplace

    5 minutes walk to Hall's Croft

    26 High Street
    CV37 6AU
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    Open today: 10am - 5pm

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