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Collections Items on Display

The must-see collection items displayed at Shakespeare's New Place


Archaeological Excavations

Between 2010 and 2016 archaeological excavations on the site of Shakespeare’s New Place revealed new information about Shakespeare’s home. At New Place Exhibition Centre you can see some of the finds from the excavations as well as a timeline of the history of the site.

For more information about the finds see Archaeologist Will Mitchell’s online exhibition. You can also explore the finds in 3D.

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The Hornbeam Circle

At the focal point of Shakespeare’s New Place a circle of Hornbeams marks the position of the original Hall. Here visitors can find His Mind’s Eye - a Hawthorn tree and sphere cast in bronze and designed by Jill Berelowitz. It represents the impact of Shakespeare’s creative vision. Berelowitz states “His Mind’s Eye tree reflects Shakespeare's enormous power and irresistible force. It is windblown and the roots are exposed, but they still anchor it to the earth”.

Also within the circle of Hornbeams is Shakespeare’s Desk and Chair. The chair faces across the Golden Garden, which represents Shakespeare’s work. Together the desk and chair represent Shakespeare’s life as a working writer. Visitors are able to sit on the chair and look out across the Golden Garden.

Both bronze sculptures were cast at the Morris Singer Foundry in Hampshire and commissioned for the reopening of the site of Shakespeare’s New Place in 2016.

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The Terrestrial Sphere

Ben Ryan and Rupert Todd, installed 2016.

The Terrestrial Sphere is wrought in metal and illustrates the world as Shakespeare would have known it. It is taken from the key contemporary map of the period, with areas as yet unknown to English people at that time melting away. Unlike typical globes, the axis of the Globe at Shakespeare’s New Place does not run pole to pole, but rather straight through Stratford-Upon-Avon, putting the town, and New Place, at the centre of Shakespeare’s universe.

Rupert Todd explains: “The Terrestrial Sphere is a doorway into Shakespeare’s world view. Showing the world as known by the court of Queen Elizabeth in 1600, and based upon the first English world map, it exhibits both the surprisingly expansive knowledge of the seas, and the focused provincial mind set of the Tudor elite.”

The globe is based on the map Edward Wright constructed for Richard Hakluyt and published in 1600 to be included in his The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation. It is a slightly updated version of the Wright Molyneux Map (published 1599). The process by which it has been mapped back onto a sphere was a direct inversion of the method which Wright used to map it from sphere to flat (albeit speeded up by software) which he helpfully recorded.

On a circular base, the bronze rises like a twisted tree with figures appearing to clasp it. At the top it widens to a large garlanded ass's head, above which are two circular plaques with faces.

Midsummer Night's Dream by Greg Wyatt

In the Great Garden at New Place you can find an array of stunning bronze sculptures by Greg Wyatt. Created in 2005, this sculpture inspired by A Midsummers Night’s Dream is the fifth of the series and embodies the mysterious elements and imagination of the play.

You can find this item in the Great Garden.

To learn more, read about this item in our online catalogue:  2005-9 – Midsummer Night’s Dream by Greg Wyatt

Discover more info on the Greg Wyatt sculptures.

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The Strongbox

By Chris Lloyd in collaboration with Souvenir Studios and the Morris Singer Foundry. Installed, 2016

This sculpture is a faithful representation of a Tudor strongbox, sometimes known as an Armada chest. It shows in detail the metal strap work and elaborate locking system typical of these early ‘safes’.

The Strongbox is a testament to Shakespeare’s wealth and social status which is purchase of New Place confirmed. The box is open, revealing facsimiles of money and legal documents, including the deed of the house. The quotation on the underside of the lid presents a tantalising hint to the fact that the previous owner of New Place, William Underhill, was murdered by his son a few weeks after selling New Place to Shakespeare!

The Strongbox was created by Chris Lloyd, working in collaboration with the Morris Singer foundry.

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