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Behind the scenes: Mulberry Tree

Behind-the-scenes access in the run up to the grand opening of Shakespeare's New Place in Summer 2016.

The subject of today’s reveal has seen an awful lot come and go at Shakespeare’s New Place, and not just since we’ve started working on it either. Glyn is here to tell you about our beautiful mulberry tree! We’ve built a traditional dry-stone wall around the tree’s base to protect its ancient root system - you can see the work going on in the background. But how did a mulberry tree, a native of southwest Asia, get to Stratford-upon-Avon in the first place?

The mulberry tree in the Great Garden is believed to have been propagated from a tree that grew at New Place while Shakespeare lived here, which is a wonderful thing in itself. King James I introduced mulberries to the British Isles in the 17th century, with the intention of starting a silk trade here, because he knew that silkworms fed off mulberry leaves. Unfortunately, he imported black mulberries, not the white variety to which silkworms are partial. So although we never got a silk trade, we do now enjoy mulberry pies, preserves, and even gin, according to Glyn!

Shakespeare’s New Place opens Summer 2016. Come and walk in Shakespeare's footsteps and meet the man behind the works in a fascinating new exhibition. Discover beautiful gardens and specially-commissioned artworks.

Find out more about Shakespeare's New Place.

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