Over the past 18 months we have been evaluating feedback from our visitors and it is clear that whilst visitors enjoy the story of the later inhabitants of the Cottage, their first goal is to soak up the atmosphere of the place where Anne Hathaway and William Shakespeare first knew each other.
Our research has informed us that visitors would like to learn more about Anne and William’s way of life, experience the sense of stepping back in time and discover the personal stories of the people who have lived in the Cottage through time. As a result, we have developed a new presentation plan which aims to highlight the Cottage that Anne experienced as a child and adult, as well as contextualising the later Hathaway family stories.
We are incredibly lucky that we have such strong documentary evidence of how the Hathaways lived from the 1500s to 1892, which is when the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust bought the cottage and much of its contents.
By using this evidence we can vividly tell the history of the family through time including the financial decline of the Hathaway’s, the selling of the ‘Courting Chair’ and the eventual purchase of the Cottage by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Through multi-sensory presentation, our aim is to create an atmospheric experience, which brings to life the personalities who lived inside this extraordinary cottage. We have only just started re-presenting the rooms but these images are a taste of things to come.
Future visitors can expect a journey through the Cottage to include the sounds, sights and smells of the Cottage’s past. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates as our plans progress, and come and see the changes for yourself over the coming months!