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Our Highlights from 2019

Thank you to everyone who supported us in 2019. Your loyal support helps us continue our work to celebrate Shakespeare and to ensure his legacy lives on for everyone. Thank you.

harriet walter
Harriet Walters

Sharing Shakespeare with the world

We've had over 830,000 visitors in 2019 coming from 95 countries around the world to see Shakespeare's family homes.

In March we welcomed people to our Disabled Access Day, sponsored by Cameron Homes.  Focused on Deaf and Disabled access, talks, events and tours were held with BSL interpreters.

Our calendar of events this year included such well-known names as the actor Harriet Walters, the children's author Michael Rosen and the Ted Hughes Poetry Award 2018 winner Raymond Antrobus.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the National Lottery, there was free entry for those with valid lottery tickets during a week in November. We are grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and lottery-funded Arts Council for supporting our educational and learning work, creative programming, community outreach and other work. #ThanksToYou

Support our Christmas Campaign so we can continue to share Shakespeare with the world


Hubs North East
Michael Rosen launching Shakespeare Week

Inspiring the next generation

Over 2 million primary school children took part in Shakespeare Week in 2019, celebrating Shakespeare's works and language. 11,000 schools took part in free activities along with 409 libraries.

17,801 young people have attended education sessions with our learning and education team this year. 728 university students form 14 different countries have taken part in our residential courses.

Over 1,000 children from the Midlands took part in our Museums and School initiative, funded by the Department for Education, and became tour guides to our houses. 

Can we do it again? the best experience I've had in my life

— Pupil

Teachers report that children gained improved communication, creative and critical thinking skills, greater confidence and broadened their horizons by being involved in these initiatives.

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Map of England by Ortelius published 1603
The Ortelius map of England circa 1603

Acquisitions and conservation

This year we had 109 new museum acquisitions, 41 book donations and 42 new archive accessions.  This included the Ortelius map of England circa 1603, the earliest map of England we now have in our collection.  It was acquired with a generous donation in memory of Patrick Hartrey.  

Your continued support enables us to build our archive collection and conserve our precious items, helping us illuminate Shakespeare's life and times for everyone.

Donate to our Christmas appeal to enable us to continue our conservation work and acquire important items.


Lee Lapthorne
Lee Lapthorne with his sofa inspired by our archives

Creative Inspiration

Exploring new creative work with contemporary artists inspired by Shakespeare took many forms this year. Here is a taste of what happened.

Lee Lapthorne, from the world of fashion and design, was our Artist in Residence and brought inspiration from research in our archives to create opulent furniture pieces displayed during the year.

We celebrated the 250th anniversary of David Garrick's Shakespeare Jubilee with 5,567 people looking through two pairs of giant binoculars.  'I see the Future' was a partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company showcasing how the local community imagine our town in 100 years time.

Our Poetry Fest, in its 66th year, held workshops, children's entertainment, street theatre, as well as recitals reaching a global audience.

Donate to our Christmas campaign so we can continue to inspire and engage audiences.

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