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About Hall’s Croft

Learn more about the home of Shakespeare's daughter.

The front of the house with its three gables, large windows and tall red-brick chimneys. The house is in shade, but the nearest ground-floor window is lit. The sun is on the end wall, showing the large quantity of very straight timber beams.
Street View of Hall's Croft

Who Lived at Hall's Croft?

The house that we call Hall’s Croft was the home of William Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna Hall, and her husband, physician John Hall, from 1613-1616. The building stands in Old Stratford-upon-Avon, positioned on the corner between Church Street and Old Town. The oldest part of the existing house was constructed in 1613, and therefore would have been newly built when the Hall’s took up residence.

A Contrast...

The North West side of Hall’s Croft is the oldest part of the building. When Susanna and John lived there, the house would have been much smaller than it appears today. However, the gardens would have been bigger—incorporating a pigsty, herb and vegetable gardens, and enough room for a cow and goats. As was common practice in the seventeenth century, the kitchen would have been detached from the main house to avoid the risk of fire and to prevent the smell of cooking from entering the parlour. After the Halls left, the original house was expanded and the kitchen brought into the main building.

A stone path leads to some tall dark trees. The path is flanked by shrubs in various shades of green, with tall standard roses on the left. There is a large dark green shrub on the immediate left.
Hall's Croft's Garden today

Leaving Hall's Croft

The Halls only lived here for about three years, moving to New Place after William Shakespeare’s death. When Susanna moved, she took much of the property’s original furniture with her. Elizabeth (Susanna’s daughter) claimed the remainder of the furnishings when she moved into Nash’s House. None of the original Jacobean furniture from Hall’s Croft has survived, nor any of John and Susanna Hall’s belongings. This is with the exception of a spice grinder fixed in the attic, which is thought to date from around the seventeenth century. 

'Thus far, and so farewell'

— Cymbeline, Act 3, Scene 5
A dark wooden Spice Grinder: circular base short narrow stem, cup shape to receive ground spice, lid and short narrow stem, spice-holder with straight sides but curving out at base, lid and grinder knob.
17th Century Spice Grinder from the attic of Hall's Croft

After Shakespeare’s daughter and granddaughter left, Hall’s Croft was vacant for over ten years. Hall’s Croft was then sold to the Smith family in 1627. Over the next 400 years, Hall’s Croft had numerous residents and multiple changes made to its structure, interior, and even function. In 1850, part of the building was used as a boarding school. After the school closed and the building became a private residence, many notable people stayed in the house, including George Bernard Shaw and the novelist Marie Corelli.

Cambridge House School

The name Hall’s Croft does not appear until the turn of the twentieth century when Catherine Croker took up residence. During the nineteenth century, it appears in records as Cambridge House or Cambridge House School (possibly a reference to John Hall being educated at Cambridge). 

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust purchased the property in 1949. After considerable restoration, Hall’s Croft was opened to the public in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain.

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