King Edward School
King Edward School is a public (i.e. exclusive) school based around a core of historic buildings where Shakespeare himself once attended school.
Dubbed 'Shakespeare's School', the school buildings are built around a core of historic properties. Chief among these is The Guildhall. This was built in 1417 as a dining hall for the Guild of the Holy Cross. The Guild was established to provide spiritual education and support for lay people, but evolved into an organization offering education to the young. Upstairs is a delightful timber-framed chamber tucked under the rafters of the Guildhall. This is The Upper Guildhall, and when KIng Edward VI granted the Guild School to the corporation of Statford in 1553, the Upper Guildhall became the main schoolroom.
Next to the Guildhall is The Armoury. As its name suggests it was originally a repository of arms, but after the establishment of the Borough of Stratford in 1553 it was used as administration chambers for the school, the town bridge, and to mete out justice on the the local citizenry.
The Guild Chapel
One of the first Baliffs, what we today would call a Mayor, was John Shakespeare, father of William. William may owe his future love of the theastre to his father, for John Shakespeare wa the first Baliff of Stratord to invite travelling players (teams of actors) to perform in the Guildhall.
Aside from these buildings, a further range of historic properties stand around the Old Courtyard. Here you will find the Guild Chapel, and the half-timbered Big School and Old Library. The Guild Chapel was built shortly after 1269, with additions in the 16th century. Unusually for a chapel, it is owned by the Corporation of Stratford rather than the Church of England. It would have been a well established Landmark in Stratford during Shakespeare's time, and the poet must have been familiar with it.
A few steps along from the Guild Chapel on Church Street is a very attractive row of medieval amshouses.
15th century Guildhall
13th century Chapel
About King Edward School
Address: Church Street,
England, CV37 6HB
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Website: King Edward School
Phone: 01789 293351
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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