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Who Were the Halls?

Get to know the family who called this house a home.

Meet the Halls

Hall’s Croft was the home of Susanna, the eldest daughter of William Shakespeare, and her husband, the physician John Hall. John and Susanna married in 1607. It was customary at the time for the newly married couple to move into the groom’s house. However, John Hall was new to Stratford-upon-Avon and did not yet have a home suitable for a family. So, after their wedding, the Halls initially moved into New Place with William and Anne Shakespeare.

'Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ Admit impediments.'

— Sonnet 116

Over the next six or so intervening years, it is uncertain whether John and Susanna continued to live at New Place or found temporary lodgings in Stratford. However, by 1613 John and Susanna had moved into the then newly built Hall’s Croft with their young daughter Elizabeth, where they remained for the following three years.

Medicine in the Home

As a practising physician and herbalist, John would have wanted his new home to have a large outside space so he could grow the herbs and plants he would need for his medicines. Although he would have rarely treated his patients at Hall’s Croft, he would have needed enough space inside the property to create and store his cures, and house his collection of medical books.

The path is very shaded. on the right are head-high shrubs with purple flowers, backed by a row of trees; on the left are tall shrubs , some with white flowers. The paved path leads towards two tall trees.
The Garden at Hall’s Croft today

Saying Farewell to Hall's Croft

The Halls’ time at the property was short lived. In 1616, tragedy struck when Shakespeare was taken seriously ill. The couple returned to New Place where John may have cared for his ailing father-in-law, to whom John had become close accompanying him on business trips to London. When Shakespeare died, John became the new head of the family, with him and Susanna inheriting the bulk of Shakespeare’s property. The Halls moved permanently back to New Place (taking much of Hall’s Croft’s furnishings with them) and leased out Hall’s Croft itself.

Hall’s Croft does not feature in either John or Susanna’s wills, so it must have been sold sometime before 1635.

A very dark picture shows a young man with "cavalier" hair and an embroidered white shirt, and a young lady also with long light-brown curly hair, wearing a brownish low-cut dress and a choker. The couple. are holding hands (her right in his left), and look very serious.
Anonymous painting once thought to be of Elizabeth Hall and her husband Thomas Nash

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