Glyn Jones, one of the UK’s top garden managers, will join the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon as Head of Gardens this month. He will be responsible for developing and maintaining the gardens of the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites cared for by the charity.
The gardens of the five Shakespeare family homes (Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Mary Arden’s Farm, Hall’s Croft and Shakespeare’s New Place) extend to some 50 acres. They welcome over 800,000 visitors a year, and play an important part in bringing to life all aspects of Shakespeare’s works, life and times.
One of Glyn’s immediate priorities is the preparation of the extensive gardens at Shakespeare’s New Place for re-opening this July. The Grade II listed Park and Garden is being transformed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in a £5m+ project to create a major new heritage landmark on the site of Shakespeare’s family home. This includes the creation of a new contemporary landscape which will showcase specially commissioned artworks, the restoration of the historic Knot Garden, and the reinstatement of the traditional Great Garden. Together with a dynamic new exhibition, the reinvigorated gardens on the land Shakespeare owned for 19 years will shed new light on the man behind the great works.
Glyn Jones said, “It’s very exciting to be joining the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the run up to the launch of such a significant and unique heritage garden at Shakespeare’s New Place. It is a privilege to be working amongst the places which inspired Shakespeare, and these houses of such national and international importance. Each of the five houses have very different spirits and I’m keen to work on better reflecting these through the gardens.”
Glyn will lead a dedicated team of nine gardeners, supported by an apprentice and 18 volunteers. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is currently recruiting for a second apprentice and more volunteers to support all aspects of its work.
Glyn joins the trust after 17 years with Hidcote Manor Gardens, Gloucestershire. While in this role with the National Trust he was instrumental in a significant 10-year project restoring many of the original early 20th century features of the garden. Philippa Rawlinson, Director of Operations & Marketing at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “Glyn has an exceptional record working in the heritage sector on some incredible gardens. We are thrilled to have him in the team, and I look forward to working with him on developing our great gardens and our great gardeners.”