Ticket icon Book Now

Share this page

Shakespeare's Birthplace

This is where the story began

Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace to walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps and explore the house where he was born and grew up. Hear tales of Shakespeare’s family life, enjoy live theatre on demand and get up close to rare artefacts from the Trust’s world class collections as you discover how the extraordinary William Shakespeare continues to shape our lives today. Continue reading...

William Shakespeare was born in this house and grew up here with his parents and siblings. He also spent the first five years of his marriage living here with his wife Anne Hathaway. John and Mary Shakespeare were wealthy enough to own the largest house on Henley Street.

John Shakespeare lived and worked in this house for fifty years. When he married Mary Arden she came to live with him and they had a total of eight children, William was the third to be born. In 1568 John became the Mayor of Stratford, which was the highest elective office in the town. On Sunday, dressed in his fine red robes, he would have been escorted to Holy Trinity church to attend mass. It was because of his father’s status as Mayor that William was privileged enough to have attended the local grammar school to begin his education.

John Shakespeare died in 1601 and as the eldest surviving child, William inherited the house. He leased part of the property and it became an inn called the Maidenhead (and later the Swan and Maidenhead). The inn remained until 1847. When Shakespeare died he left the house to his eldest daughter Susanna, and when she died she left it to her only child, Elizabeth.

Although she married twice Elizabeth had no children, so when she died the house fell to a descendant of Joan Hart, one of Shakespeare’s sisters. The house was owned by the Hart family until the late 18th century, until it went up for sale and was purchased by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1847. We have cared for it ever since.

For the official guidebook of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust visit our online shop.

    Leave no story untold with our Full Story ticket

    12 months unlimited entry. Book online to save 10%

    Shakespeare's Birthplace
    Mary Arden's Farm
    Anne Hathaway's Cottage
    Shakespeare's New Place
    Hall's Croft
    Full Story Ticket

    Highlights

    Events

    See all events

    Visitor Info & Prices

    Single property ticket

    • Adult: £15.75
    • Child: £10.35
    • Concession: £14.85
    Just this property

    Shakespeare's Birthplace

    A perfect introduction to Shakespeare, couple this with another of our properties for a full day out.

    Visit time: 1 Hour

    • Gift-shop Gift shop
    • Book-shop Book shop
    • Live-performance Live performance
    • Exhibition Exhibitions
    • Access-info Access
    • Dogs Dogs
    • Prices
    • Opening times

    Getting here

    Nearby attractions

    7 minutes walk to Shakespeare's New Place

    10 minutes walk to Hall's Croft

    Shakespeare's Birthplace
    The Shakespeare Centre
    Henley St
    Stratford-upon-Avon,
    Warwickshire,
    CV37 6QW
    Get directions
    Open today: 10am - 4pm

    Getting organised?

    Plan Your Visit

    Save 10% on houses tickets

    Book now

    Your support funds vital work

    Find out how
    Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a working Tudor Farm. We are now closed for winter and will re-open 16 March 2019. Relive Shakespeare’s love story Walk in Shakespeare's footsteps The home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna