Nash's House, Stratford upon Avon
Nash's House from New Place garden
Summary
Shakespeare purchased his retirement home of New Place in 1597, though he did not move in until 1610. At that time it was the second largest dwelling in Stratford, and the only one built of brick. Shakespeare died in 1616, but it is thought that his wife, Anne, lived at New Place until her death seven years later.

After his death Shakespeare's daughter Susanna and her husband Dr John Hall moved here from their house at Hall's Croft. We do know that the Hall's entertained Queen Henrietta, wife of King Charles I, at New Place, and that after Susanna died the house was left to her daughter Elizabeth Hall, who wed Thomas Nash, of Nash's House, which stands immediately beside New Place.
The Mulberry Tree
New Place was later expanded and refurbished by Sir John Clopton, who followed the fashion of the time by opening the doors of his house to public viewing. The tourists flocked to see Shakespeare's home, but then the fortunes of this historic house took a disastrous turn. The architect of the disaster was one Rev. Francis Gastrell. To say that Gastrell was a character is putting it mildly; in 1759 he became so upset by the number of gawking passers-by lingering by his house and gawking at a mulberry tree said to have been planted by Shakespeare, that he took an axe to the mulberry tree and cut it to pieces. An alternative version of events suggests that he was anxious to avoid paying taxes and he thought that by destroying Shakespeare's mulberry tree he was lessening the taxable value of the property.
Tudor Knot Garden, New Place, Stratford upon Avon
Tudor Knot Garden, New Place
The tree was ruined, but that was just the beginning. An entrepreneurial chap named Sharp began to sell wooden likenesses of Shakespeare carved, so he claimed, from the very mulberry tree destroyed by Gastrell. Sharp produced a prodigious number of likenesses, boxes, bangles, and other souvenirs, and his buyers began to get suspicious.

In fact, a seemingly unending supply of the souvenirs coincided with a sudden lessening in the number of mulberry trees in the surrounding area. Hmm ... At the rear of New Place an old mulberry tree grows, descended, legend has it, from the old tree planted by Shakespeare.
Back to the outraged Reverend Gastrell. Not content with turning the old mulberry tree into firewood, Gastrell continued his defiance of local taxes. When it became clear that he could not avoid his taxes, he had New Place pulled to the ground. This was the final straw for the townsfolk of Stratford, and Reverend Gastrell was forced to leave the town, never to return. And to ensure that Stratford was never again forced to endure the Reverend or his descendents, a bylaw was passed prohibiting anyone named Gastrell from ever taking up residence in Stratford.
So New Place itself is gone now, and nothing can be seen of Shakespeare's dwelling beyond the outline of foundation walls, but in its place stands a replica Tudor Knot garden. The garden is sunk below street level, so that passers-by can look down into the garden space outlined by box hedges. Victors can tour the knot garden, and visit the Shakespeare Memorial Garden at the rear of the property, which stands on the site once occupied by the kitchen garden and orchard of New Place.
Access to New Place is through the lovely half-timbered facade of Nash's House, which now houses the local history museum. Here you will find exhibits on Stratford's early history, Roman occupation, and Saxon settlement, to the Shakespeare period. The house is furnished with original Tudor and Elizabethan furniture.

HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS
'Shakespeare's' Mulberry Tree
Tudor Knot Garden
Local History Museum

About Nash's House / New Place
Address: Chapel Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, CV37 6EP
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Website: Nash's House / New Place
Email: info@shakespeare.org.uk
Phone: (0)1789 204016
Location map
OS: SP201 548
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


HERITAGE

HeritageWe've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.

Historic Time Periods:

Roman
Saxon
Tudor

Find other attractions tagged with:

Charles I (Person) - Elizabethan (Architecture) - Roman (Time Period) - Saxon (Time Period) - Shakespeare (Person) - Tudor (Time Period) -


NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS

Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest

Nash's House - 0 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Tudor World - 0.1 miles (Museum) Heritage Rating

King Edward School - 0.1 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Hall's Croft - 0.2 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Shakespeare's Birthplace - 0.2 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Stratford upon Avon, Holy Trinity Church - 0.3 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Anne Hathaway's Cottage - 1 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Mary Ardens House - 3 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating



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