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The Secrets of Conservation

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust lifts the lid on some of the conservation work that takes place at the five historic Shakespeare Family Homes in Stratford-upon-Avon, and in our internationally recognised library, archive and museum collection.

New Place
Shakespeare's New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is lifting the lid on some of the conservation work that takes place at the five historic Shakespeare Family Homes in Stratford-upon-Avon and in its internationally recognised library, archive and museum collection.

A series of special events will take throughout January, including an exhibition of never-before-seen photographs taken during the £6million redevelopment of Shakespeare's New Place and a talk on how the archaeological finds that date back to the Shakespeare family's time living there are being conserved. 

There will also be a rare chance to see some of the normally hidden discoveries at Anne Hathaway's Cottage, while experts from the Trust will be sharing their hints and tips on how to care for household antiques.

A full programme of events is listed below.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Meet the Experts, Monday, 14 January, 10am to 4pm

Meet our Collections team who will be showing rarely seen items from our internationally recognised museum, library and archives, and learn about the conservation techniques they use and how to look after your own treasures at home.

Conservation Table, Every Tuesday in January, 1pm to 3pm

The conservation team will demonstrate preventative measures that are required for the more precious and delicate items from our Collections that are not normally on public display, and talk about the daily conservation work they do at all five Shakespeare family homes.

'What's past is prologue', Daily throughout January

See a display of pictures that will show how the Birthplace looked during early years of William Shakespeare’s childhood home being open to the public.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Tuesday, 29 January, 1pm-3pm

Not all pests are bad, some are the Clint Eastwood of the pest world and may look scary, but you really want them around in a crisis — learn which pests you should evict and which to encourage into your home.


Shakespeare’s New Place, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Walking on History, Daily throughout January, 10am-4pm

Find out how items dating back to Shakespeare’s time are being conserved after being unearthed during archaeological digs at the site, and view never-before-seen photographs of New Place during its £6million redevelopment.

‘Here’s metal more attractive’, 11 and 25 January, 12pm-2pm

Learn how we clean and preserve the sculptures onsite and have a go yourself, weather permitting.

Conserving our Legacy, Saturday, 19 January, 12pm and 2pm

Join Nic Fulcher, projects manager for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, as he talks about redeveloping New Place and conserving the archaeological findings.


Hall’s Croft, Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon

Conservation Talk, 17 and 24 January, 1pm to 3pm

Hints and tips on how to conserve any precious furniture in your own homes.


Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery

Hidden Revealed, Every Thursday in January at 11am and 2pm

Unearth the joinery marks, dog paw prints and historic finger prints that have been discovered during conservation work throughout the cottage, and see some of the strange artefacts that visitors have left behind, each tour limited to 10 people.