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Shakespeare Places: Where the Poet and the Heroes of His Pieces Lived

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All places associated with the life of Shakespeare and with his heroes can be found throughout the country, including in London. You just need to take a closer look. For example, the first folio of his plays is available for a free inspection in the lobby of the British Library.

On the facade of the BBC Broadcasting House in Art Deco style, the visitors can see the heroes of the play Shakespeare’s Othello, and the words of Shakespeare are the motto of the famous artistic gentleman’s Garrick Club in Soho: “The whole world is a theater”. By the way, so far only gentlemen can be members of the club, but ladies are allowed as guests.

Immediately make a reservation that the very fact of the existence of William Shakespeare as a person is still being questioned by several experts, as well as the circumstances of his birth, life, and death. Nevertheless, in Stratford-upon-Avon, thanks to the efforts of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, one can trace its path from the place of birth to the grave.

Statue of Shakespeare
Image: Birmingham Museum Trust on Unsplash

In one day, you can completely bypass the restored and carefully guarded ancient locations, and rubbing your shoulders with tourists from around the world, see both the house where Shakespeare spent his childhood, and the house of his future wife Anne Hathaway, and his daughter’s house, and other objects. These picture-perfect places of interest will enthrall William Shakespeare’s fans.

In London, there are a couple of plaques dedicated to events from the life of the playwright. Perhaps the most noticeable and “head-over-heels” of them is located in the alleys near St. Paul’s Cathedral and resembles a paragraph from the official diary of historical chronicle: “On March 10, 1613, William Shakespeare purchased a house in the Blackfriars Gatehouse, located near these places.

The purchase cost £ 140, and the record of its completion is still kept in the London archive and is one of the six available samples of Shakespeare’s “authentic” signature. This property was the only real estate in London ever owned by Shakespeare. It is unknown, however, whether he managed to live here, but given the proximity to the theaters where his plays were staged then, he intended to do this by buying this property.

Where did the heroes of Shakespeare live?

Now, let’s take a look where Shakespeare lodged his heroes and where Shakespeare’s numerous followers and imitators, who in different years created screen versions of his works and films, simply inspired by his image. Many of these locations are interesting to visit, and not only in connection with Shakespeare plays.

Let’s start with an amazing house in the Chelsea district of London, right on the banks of the Thames, next to the Battersea Bridge. This house is called Crosby Hall and initially stood not at this place, but on the other side of the city, on Bishopsgate in the City of London. In the mansion built in 1466, several noble rulers of the City lived – lord mayors, as well as other noble persons. At one time, the building served as the headquarters of the East India Company. Shakespeare repeatedly mentions this building in his historical chronicle Richard III.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the building fell into decay, and the question arose of demolition, but the London authorities agreed with the developers, and the building was bricked up, transported and rebuilt in Chelsea! At one time, the Women’s University Association was located there, and now it is part of private ownership and, unfortunately, is closed to the public, but no one will forbid them to admire it.

Dorney Court Manor in Buckinghamshire has its history since 1440, it appeared a hundred years before the birth of Shakespeare. It was she who played the role of the Stratford playwright house in the recently released movie “All Is True” with Kenneth Branagh, Sir Ian McKellen, and Lady Judy Dench. The Tudor mansion is constantly filming something – its track record on the site includes a good fifty of the most famous films, from the stories of Poirot and Miss Marple to the Bohemian Rhapsody and the Benny Hill show.

For almost 500 years, the estate has been owned by the same Palmer family, who once served at the royal court, and now live in renting out estates for weddings and filming. Sometimes, in May and August, visitors are allowed to admire landscaped gardens and house interiors with a bunch of old artifacts for a small fee.

Conclusion

The name of the great English poet and playwright William Shakespeare is perhaps most associated with the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, but it is rightfully considered the property of all of England. Interestingly, his birthday and death coincide with the national holiday of England, St. George’s Day