February 28, 2016

Visiting Stratford: Shakespeare's Grave

After exploring Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Shakespeare's Birthplace, our next major stop along this vein was Holy Trinity Church.

This church is where he was baptized as an infant on April 26th, 1564; it is also the site of his burial.

Let's just say that this English teacher was in nerd/history heaven by this point.

The famous funerary monument of Shakespeare can be seen on the wall, pen-in-hand. Everything here is quite ornate!

William Shakespeare is buried RIGHT THERE. Right next to his wife. There's a bunch of other family members up there, too... but they aren't why I came to the church, now are they?

The stone slabs that cover their graves are facing the altar of the church, a common practice. I couldn't figure out for the longest time why it was "backward" from our perspective, but it makes total sense.

The inscription on his stone reads as follows (in modern spelling): "Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, / To dig the dust enclosed here. / Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones."

They were sure not to move his bones during the restoration of the church in 2008, lest they be cursed  by the bard for all time!

The baptismal font which was probably used during Shakespeare's baptism on April 26, 1564.

The extensive graveyard grounds at Holy Trinity Church.

The extensive graveyard grounds at Holy Trinity Church.

That last image is just a better shot from another trip to Stratford... just for good measure. It's a beautiful church in its own right, but it is dwarfed by the famous playwright's presence. However, I would strongly suggest taking some time to just sit and reflect in this gorgeous place, whether inside the building or on its beautiful grounds that sit right along the River Avon.

Speaking of which, we still had yet to see that famous river - and we saw so many other wonderful things in Stratford that had nothing to do with William Shakespeare!

Visiting Stratford: Shakespeare's Birthplace

After our walk to Anne Hathaway's Cottage, we wandered back to town centre to visit the rest of the Shakespeare sights. First on the list was the Birth House and the National Trust Museum (which happen to be so close that they are practically attached - you have to enter the birth house via the museum and then enter the grounds).

The house of William Shakespeare's birth and residence. SHUT. UP. Also, my mom. Isn't she cute?

Another street-view of the birth house.

The First Folio

The back side of the birth house.

The back side of the birth house.

Entering into the birth house.

Note the recreated tapestries (not nearly as cool as originals).

Do not pay attention to my hair. It was still adjusting to travel products and no hair tools.

William Shakespeare's father's glove shop.

William Shakespeare's father's glove shop.

William Shakespeare's father's glove shop. This man is adorable and looks like a hobbit. I want to keep him.

William Shakespeare's father's glove shop. He would sell the gloves out the window (to the right) as it looks out on one of the main streets. Pretty convenient little business setup if you ask me!

Three Shakespeare boys would sleep in this bed. Goodness!

William actually ended up starting his own public house (pub and inn) at one side of the house, the pictures of which I accidentally deleted. Fun fact, though.

We've been back to the birth house several times, once to meet up with my good friend Hillary! She moved to London from Australia a few months before we moved to Birmingham. It was so good to see her; it had been 12 years! But those bonded by awkward middle school growing pains will always be friends no matter the time or distance.

So after Anne Hathaway's Cottage and the Birth House, what's next? Why, we still had the Holy Trinity Church (Shakespeare's baptism and burial site) and the rest of Stratford to explore - and it didn't disappoint!