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Behind the scenes: Yew Walk

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

Yew Walk

We’re wandering back in time to find out about the Yew Walk, a much beloved feature of Shakespeare’s New Place.

The Yew Walk was planted over 100 years ago in 1914. Heading back even further in time, that western part of the gardens was the site of one of Stratford-upon-Avon’s many Shakespeare theatres. The Shakespearean Theatre was built in 1827, and opened in December of that year with a performance of As You Like It. In 1844 the building was extensively repaired and reopened as the New Royal Shakespearean Rooms, which was moderately successful for a long time.

The last performance at the New Royal Shakespearean Rooms took place on 30th April 1872. After this, the theatre was demolished and the site became part of the New Place gardens. The next theatre to be built nearby was the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, just a few hundred yards away by the river, precursor to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre we know today.

Back to the present and the Yew Walk holds delights of its own apart from the history of the site it stands on. Halfway along there is an arbour with a lovely bench and a secret to be discovered for those who care to look. And from some angles, quite by accident, you can see a topiary elephant, apparently marching off through the hedge and into Chapel Lane. Stand with your back to the Knot Garden and see if you can spot it!


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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