Artist's impression of New Place, Stratford upon Avon

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Date:1994

Description:Artist's impression of New Place as it would have been in the time of William Shakespeare.

New Place was Shakespeare's family home from 1597, where he lived when not in London and where he died in 1616.

Originally built by Hugh Clopton, Lord Mayor of London, opposite the Guild Chapel, it was reputedly the second largest house in the town (the largest being the College in Old Town). The Cloptons sold New Place in 1567. Thirty years later, in 1597, it was acquired by William Shakespeare. We do not know exactly how much he paid, but a figure of around £120 has been suggested. Today this may sound a paltry sum, but, in fact, a house could change hands then for as little as £25: Shakespeare's outlay is striking evidence of his financial success as an actor and playwright in London.

The house descended in Shakespeare's family until the death of John Barnard, the second husband of Shakespeare's grand-daughter, Elizabeth, in 1674. It was then sold to Sir Edward Walker, who left it to his daughter, the wife of John Clopton. In this way it passed back into the ownership of the family that had built it.

Around 1700, John Clopton radically altered, if not rebuilt, the house. Then, in 1759, it was demolished by its new owner, the Reverend Francis Gastrell. However, there does survive a drawing, plan and description (all admittedly from memory) on which to base a re-construction of the house as it was in Shakespeare's day.

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Source: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - Records

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