Thursday Doors – Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-Upon-Avon

img_2049This lovely door with wisteria crown belongs to one of the buildings at Shakespeare’s birthplace, Straford-Upon-Avon. There are several sixteenth century buildings on the site, including the main house where Shakespeare was born and grew up –  he even spent the first five years of his marriage to Ann Hathaway there, the couple living with his parents.

dsc_0500During his lifetime, Shakespeare leased out part of the property and it became an inn called The Maidenhead(!). Upon his death, the house passed to his daughter, Susanna, and it stayed in the family until 1847 when it was purchased by The National Trust, who continue to manage the house today.

dsc_0505The house and surrounding buildings have been restored to how they would have been during Shakespeare’s lifetime (except for the gift shop on the ground floor, of course). It’s a fascinating place to visit, and an insight into how wealthy families lived in the sixteenth century.

This is my entry to this week’s Thursday Doors Challenge, courtesy of Norm.2.0. For more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s page and click the link.

Wednesday Wander – Stratford-Upon-Avon

DSC_0494This week’s wander is to the West Midlands town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. However, he was not the only luminary to come from this small town – do you notice the American flag decorating the front of this fine half-timbered house?

DSC_0496This is Harvard House and, as the sign states, it was once the home of Katherine Rogers, mother to John Harvard, who founded Harvard University.

DSC_0497I grew up not far from Stratford-Upon-Avon and have been there many times, yet it was only on a visit a few years ago that I noticed Harvard House. It just goes to show how much history is packed into the winding streets and ancient buildings. As you can see, Harvard House was built in 1596 and has some wonderful carved decoration on the front – the initials A.R. stand for Alice Rogers, Katherine’s mother. The house was privately owned until 1909, when it was purchased by the American millionaire, Edward Morris. He restored the house and presented it to Harvard University as a gift – it is now managed on their behalf by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and is open to the public. We didn’t end up going inside that day – something for a future visit.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time 🙂